“Aztecs-Winners But Losers”
They got a dose of their own medicine and it didn’t taste good.
They got beat at their own game and they couldn’t handle it.
The toughest team of all time got body-bagged into a loss.
It was a great season for San Diego State, but not a great final game, the (76-59) pounding at the hands of a very tough Connecticut Huskies team.
A quick SDSU start turned into a monster deficit midway thru the first half, they never recovered from. U Conn reeled off a (16-2) scoring spurt that put SDSU into a 16-point hole they never overcame.
No good looks at the basket. A ton of turnovers. Lots of fouls. And a (0-10) shooting night from the bench bunch. All in the opening half.
The Aztecs could not handle what they dished out all season long to the other guy. Call it a mugging, call it a beat down, just call it a loss.
A spirited second half drive actually cut the lead to just 5-points, but they had so many fouls, the Huskies were shooting 1-and-1 just 4-minutes into that second half. And by the 10-minute mark it was 2-foul shots every trip to the line.
When it was over it was a clenched fist list of bad stats.
SDSU-20 fouls. Add in 12-turnovers. Mix with 32%-shooting from the floor. They let the Huskies grab 16-defensive rebounds, and UC had 40-boards for the night.
Fouls everywhere among the bodies always on the floor, and the Huskies went (24-for-27) at the stripe.
Matt Bradley never got good looks, just 8-points. Nathan Mensah and AG Aroup went (0-7) shooting. The bench was (4-19) from the floor.. It took a flurry of 3-point shots from Darrion Trammell-Lamont Butler, who both had 13, to give SDSU any hope at all.
They just never recovered from shooting 28% from the floor in that opening half.
It was misery to watch when the Aztecs went over 11-minutes without a basket as UConn grabbed them, and the game by the throat.
Hard to believe SDSU missed 13-shots in a row, and went 22-possessions without getting a basket.
Goodbye lead, goodbye game, goodbye season.
But despite this tasting like Cod Liver Oil, this final night with this team, it was an awesome season. SDSU 32-wins, another MWC title, a dominant defense, and a message delivered to the entire nation, this is a pretty good program.
There were no more comebacks left in the body, no last minute defensive turnaround runs to a victory, and no championship banner to hang.
On the final night of the season, State ran into someone just as tough as them, with better firepower, and it turned into a car wreck of a final game. Just too much Adama Sanogo, mixed in with Tris Newton, a 7’2-backup center and some firepower guards.
They lost the last game of the season, but they proved to be winners, who captured the heart of San Diego.
Like the Padres in the World Series and the Chargers in the Super Bowl, it did not end well.
Remember the journey, the heart stopping wins, the noise in the Arena, the Show, and a collective group of gritty players, better than any of them individually could be.
An Aztecs loss, but really a San Diego State winning season of all time.