Remember that shooting slump.
San Diego State sure doesn't.
"Not at all, we all know we can shoot and everybody has seen us shoot," SDSU guard Chase Tapley said. "That first game, on the boat against Syracuse, made us look like we couldn't shoot, but we we're confident. I remember James [Rahon] saying that if you're confident then you can really shoot. That's what has been displayed throughout these last couple of games."
The Aztecs were extremely confident on Thursday night, racking up 84 against UC Santa Barbara by connecting on 29-of-52 shots including 11-of-17 from three.
"We shot the ball the first half as well I've seen San Diego State do since I got here," SDSU head coach Steve Fisher said.
A total of five San Diego State players were in double figures.
"We have a good team," Tapley said. "Any night we can have somebody step up and do something, be the star of the game. Just means we have a lot more bodies than we did last year. Everybody can contribute."
Chase Tapley continued to lead the way by scoring a season high 23 points by making 6-of-8 from downtown.
"Tapley has been shooting the ball so well in practice that every time he shoots it, you think it is going in," Fisher said.
At this point it's a surprise when he misses.
Not only can the Aztecs score by committee but they also rebound together, as the Aztecs didn't have one-player grab more than four rebounds against UCSB.
"Shows how versatile we really are," SDSU forward J.J. O'Brien said. "Everybody can rebound, everybody can score, and everybody can do just about everything on the floor."
It was the second straight contest that the Aztecs dominated defensively in the first half then let up by giving up a ton of points in the second 20 minutes of play.
UC Santa Barbara scored 41 second half points on 51.5% shooting in the second half.
Coach Fisher knew his team didn't guard "well enough" in the second half but was never worried despite SDSU's 27-point lead trimmed down to 14 with 5:50 remaining.
"Tonight I never had the uneasiness in my stomach that we might not win as it was going down," Fisher explained. "It was more what could we do to not give them such easy baskets. That's partially on everybody including me."
The Gauchos have an extremely young team that was surprising a handful for the Aztecs in the second half.
"Alan Williams is a load inside," Fisher said. "Williams is big, strong and good. Kyle Boswell hurt us last year and won the game for them against Santa Clara. Tonight he made some open shots, but also some where we were all over him. I don't want to say that it was all us not guarding, I want to say that UC Santa Barbara did a good job attacking our post double."
Boswell scored 23 points with all seven of his field goals came from beyond the arc. Williams finished with 18 points and 6 rebounds by pushing his weight around.
"He has a big body and he knows how to use his body to get buckets," O'Brien said of Williams. "He did a good job against the post double, either scoring really quickly before we got there or taking it out."
See you next week!
San Diego State will have nine days off until they play University of San Diego next Saturday.
"I think it's going to give us time to watch tape and break down what we need to get better at and work on that and not have to worry about a scout or playing another team, so I think it's going to be a good thing," O'Brien said.
Coach Fisher plans to give his players two full days off before getting back to work and preparing for USD.
"We'll put in a couple new wrinkles offensively," Fisher explained what the Aztecs plan to do during the layoff. "We'll talk about what we are not doing defensively. We'll get a little healthier. We got some guys that are nicked up a little bit like everybody does. We'll focus hard on final exams for this semester."
Does the team view this long break as a positive or a negative?
"It's a good thing," Tapley expressed. "Just for us to get a couple days off then get back in the lab and really just focus on practicing. Not having to worry about a game the next day. It's going to be awhile until we play USD."
-Five Aztecs were in double figures: Tapley (23), Jamaal Franklin (14), O'Brien (12), Xavier Thames (11) and James Rahon (10). First time this season the feat has been accomplished.
-San Diego State won its 27th straight against teams from California, which is the longest active streak nationally and is the longest such streak since 1996-97.
-Over the past two games, SDSU is shooting 59.3 percent (16-for-27) from beyond the three-point arc.
Aztecs shoot lights out!
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