San Diego, California - SDSU Men’s Basketball to Face Savannah State on Monday at Viejas Arena and the Aztecs to wear Nike N7 uniforms to celebrate Native American Heritage Month:
San Diego State returns from the Thanksgiving break to face Savannah State on Monday on Steve Fisher Court at Viejas Arena. There is no television or webstream for the game, but it can be heard on The Mighty 1090 and 105.7 The MAX with Ted Leitner on the call.
The Aztecs, who returned to practice on Friday afternoon, resume non-conference play after defeating California, 77-65, last Monday at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. The Golden Bears entered the contest as the first team out of the AP Top 25 Poll and the second team out of the USA Today Coaches Poll.
The victory over California was significant in many ways. For San Diego State, it was its fourth straight over the Bears with three coming by double-digit margins, it was SDSU’s 16th win vs. current Pac-12 members in its last 22 meetings and it was the program’s 49th consecutive win vs. a non-league California school when played indoors.
More important than the aforementioned reasons were the return of forwards Malik Pope and Max Hoetzel. Both suffered knee injuries prior to the start of the campaign and neither had seen any action - exhibition or regular season - this season. Pope started the California game, scored SDSU’s first six points and finished with 14 points and five rebounds. Hoetzel, meanwhile, went for 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds off the bench.
The Aztecs also welcomed back Matt Shrigley and Valentine Izundu in the game vs. the Golden Bears. Both had played this season, but were held out of the San Diego Christian game for preventative reasons (ankles). Shrigley made a trio of three-pointers before finishing with 10 points and Izundu had three rebounds and one blocked shot. Both played 19 minutes.
Jeremy Hemsley led San Diego State with 15 points and three assists against California, marking the fourth straight game in which the guard has led the team in both categories. The sophomore is shooting 62.5 percent (10-for-16) from three-point distance, which is tied for 12th nationally among players with at least 15 three-point field-goal attempts (through Nov. 25).
SDSU will look to end the month of November with a victory against a Savannah State squad it has never faced. The Aztecs enter the contest with a 33-9 November record since the start of the 2010-11 campaign.
The Aztecs rank second in the Mountain West in scoring defense (62.8) and they will try to slow down a Tigers offense that averages 93.6 points per game. San Diego State has held six straight opponents to under 70 points, a streak that dates back to last season.
San Diego State has been one of the elite teams in the nation when it comes to playing at home. Since the start of 2005-06, San Diego State ranks eighth nationally in winning percentage, checking at 89.0 percent (161-20). Five of SDSU’s last six opponents played at home have failed to reach the 60-point mark, a streak that dates to last season.
As well as the Aztecs have played at home, they will be facing a Savannah State team that is familiar with unfamiliar environments. So far this season, the Tigers have played two games in Iowa (Iowa and Iowa State), one in Tennessee (Memphis) and a pair in Florida (St. Francis College Brooklyn and Grambling State). SSU played their games in Florida on Friday and Saturday before making the trip to America’s Finest City.
Following its game with Savannah State, the Aztecs will hop on a plane themselves later in the week as a trip to Loyola in Chicago is next up. The contest, which is set for Saturday, Dec. 3, is a part of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge and is also the start of a two-game road trip that will take SDSU from the Pacific Time Zone to the Central Time Zone and back, and then over the Mountain Time Zone where Grand Canyon will await on Wednesday, Dec. 7.