San Diego, California - Men’s Basketball Plays Host to Arizona State today Aztecs and Sun Devils to play on CBS Sports Network:
San Diego State will look to stop a two-game losing streak on Saturday afternoon when Arizona State visits Steve Fisher Court at Viejas Arena. The contest will air nationally on CBS Sports Network at 4 p.m. PT and will be available on radio on The Mighty 1090.
SDSU is looking to recover from two losses in which it allowed its opponent to shoot above 50 percent from the field. In the most recent loss at Grand Canyon on Wednesday night, the Lopes shot 51.8 percent from the floor, including 58.3 percent in the second half.
Despite GCU’s accuracy from the field, the Aztecs still had a chance to win the contest, thanks in part to Jeremy Hemsley’s career night. The sophomore guard exploded for a career-high 28 points, 25 of which came in the second half, as a result of his 6-for-6 3-point barrage in the game’s final 20 minutes. His final line: 28 points (9-15 FG, 7-8 3FG, 3-5 FT), 4 rebounds, 35 minutes.
Hemsley’s 7-for-8 performance from 3-point range was tied for the second-best three-point field-goal percentage in a Division I game this season (Micah Seaborn of Monmouth was 8-for-9 against South Carolina State on Nov. 26, 2016) and it was the highest 3-point field-goal percentage ever for an SDSU player (minimum eight attempts), matching Al Faux’s 7-for-8 performance against Oklahoma State on Dec. 30, 2000.
Hemsley, who scored 14 straight points, helped San Diego State take a 66-64 lead with 7:24 left in the game. The lead eventually swelled to five points with 4:06 on the clock, but SDSU scored only one point the rest of the way. Hemsley wound up scoring 18 of SDSU’s final 22 points.
The game at Grand Canyon was a homecoming for Zylan Cheatham, who is a native of Phoenix, Arizona, and South Mountain High. The sophomore forward scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds. His point total was his most scored in a game outside of Viejas Arena and his rebounding effort marked the second time in as many seasons in which he established a career best in rebounding vs. the Lopes. Last year, Cheatham had 11 boards vs. Grand Canyon at SDSU.
Lost in the haze of defeat was San Diego State’s effort on the glass. The Aztecs outrebounded the Antelopes, 41-33, marking the third straight game SDSU has enjoyed an advantage in the category. San Diego State also collected 20 offensive rebounds compared to GCU’s nine and it came after the Aztecs outrebounded Loyola, 13-4, on the offensive boards. SDSU is averaging 15.3 offensive rebounds in the last four games.
San Diego State also made eight 3-pointers at Grand Canyon, which gives them 40 in its last four games. Over those four outings, the Aztecs are making treys at a 37.0-percent clip (40-for-108).
Losing two straight games is something that rarely happens at San Diego State. This is just the second time in 126 games that the Aztecs have experienced a two-game losing streak. The first happened last year when dropping home games to Grand Canyon and No. 2/3 Kansas. SDSU did not allow the losing streak to extend to three, defeating Wyoming in the Mountain West opener at Viejas Arena.
The Aztecs have won their last three games vs. the Pac-12 Conference, defeating the Golden Bears in Las Vegas last November, beating Washington at home in the second round of the 2016 NIT and then downing California again this season at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento. In those three victories, San Diego State’s average margin of victory was 13.7 points.
San Diego State has gone 12-7 vs. teams in the Pac-12 Conference at game time since the start of the 2009-10 campaign. Four of those losses came to Arizona teams that were ranked in the top six nationally.