SAN DIEGO (AP) — The San Diego State Aztecs just needed a win.
It happened that Division II Cal State Dominguez Hills was up next.
Matt Mitchell scored 20 points and San Diego State used a 23-0 run midway through the first half to rout the overmatched Toros 99-46 Wednesday night.
Jalen McDaniels and Adam Seiko added 13 apiece for the Aztecs (6-4), who needed a laugher after a rough two-game stretch. They lost at home by 12 points to crosstown rival San Diego a week earlier and then blew an eight-point lead with less than five minutes to play in an 89-83 loss at California on Saturday night.
“It feels good to get a win,” coach Brian Dutcher said. “When you lose two games in a row, obviously you’re trying to first of all get a win. The things I liked about what my team did today, is they shared the ball. We had 36 baskets, 28 of them were assisted. We shared the ball, we played the right way. Obviously we know our greatest deficiency is at the defensive end, and rebounding. We worked extremely hard to improve our defense, and I think we made great strides in that regard.”
Playing in half-full Viejas Arena, SDSU started slowly but then began making 3-pointers and surged ahead of the Toros. With the game tied at 9, Nolan Narain converted a three-point play to start the 23-0 run, which included consecutive 3s by Jordan Schakel and Devin Watson, and a shot from behind the arc by Adam Seiko. That made it 32-9 with six minutes before halftime.
The Toros got their first points in nearly eight minutes on David Howard’s slam off an alley-oop pass.
“I think it was us moving the ball a little bit better and locking in on defense, playing as a team,” Mitchell said.
SDSU led 48-16 at halftime.
Devin Watson had 12 points and eight assists for SDSU.
“When you get into these games, you have to have a fighter’s mentality and you need to focus on things you can do better, regardless of who you’re going up against,” Toros coach Steve Becker said. “I really wanted to do a much better job on the glass than we did tonight. We got outrebounded severely. We needed to just play a better basketball game, collectively.”
SDSU outrebounded the Toros 53-27.
“But this is a great opportunity and experience for our guys that very few people get the opportunity to do, come into Viejas and play in an environment like this. Hat’s off. I thought the Aztecs played great. They hit on a lot of cylinders. It’s just unfortunate we were the game to get them going.”
McDaniels has been sued in a Washington court for filming a sex act with a female student in 2016 while in high school in Federal Way and sharing it with friends through social media, according to multiple newspaper reports. Another lawsuit is expected to be filed next week on behalf of another woman. The King County prosecutor’s office has declined to press charges.
“As a father of two wonderful daughters, my heart goes out to the two young women who came forward in Seattle,” Dutcher said. “I acknowledge there are a lot of people hurting right now, and my heart goes out to all of them. In regards to Jalen I would like to say he is being treated with the same respect and due process as any other student on this campus would be treated with this type of situation.”
McDaniels is a redshirt sophomore.
“We didn’t hear anything about these allegations until the fall of his freshman year, is the first we heard about it,” Dutcher said.
Cal State Dominguez Hills: The Division II school considered this an exhibition so the loss didn’t count in its record.
San Diego State: The Aztecs get nine days off for finals.
CS Dominguez Hills is at Cal State Los Angeles next Wednesday night.
San Diego State welcomes ex-league rival BYU to Viejas Arena on Dec. 22. The teams haven’t faced off since SDSU won 92-87 in the Maui Invitational on Nov. 24, 2014. The Cougars left the Mountain West Conference after the 2010-11 season.