The miracle run of the 11th-seeded San Diego State Aztecs ended on Thursday evening to the 6th seeded Houston Cougars after nearly pulling off a Christian Laettner-esque buzzer beater three-point shot as time expired.
The shot was short, San Diego State lost 67-65 in Wichita, Kansas, and now the Aztecs have all season to think about what might have been…
Gray Skies for Aztecs
Houston redshirt senior Rob Gray proved too much to handle for the Aztecs, as he had 39 points and 8 rebounds, including the game-winning three-point shot with one second left that produced the final score of 67-65. Gray and Aztec junior guard Devin Watson exchanged four three-point shots, two apiece, in the final minute of the game that saw the Aztecs battle back from a 41-29 halftime deficit.
Aztecs fall to No. 21/19 Houston, 67-65, in a heartbreaker. Thanks for all of your support this season! pic.twitter.com/eKzXG3zD3E
— Aztec M. Basketball (@Aztec_MBB) March 16, 2018
Freshman Fire Power
The game proved to be a coming out party for freshman phenom Jalen McDaniels who led the second half comeback and finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds, including a 9 for 12 performance from the free throw line.
Six of Watson’s nine points came in the last minute of the game, as the game’s second and third-leading scorers were senior guard Trey Kell and senior forward Malik Pope with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The lack of a prominent fourth-scorer ended up being the weakness for the Aztecs, along with committing 12 turnovers to only seven for Houston. Three of the turnovers for the Aztecs came in the final three minutes of the first half, allowing Houston to turn a tight 23-21 game to a 12-point lead at halftime.
Free throw shooting also did the Aztecs in, as they only shot 60 percent (21-35) while the Cougars shot 75 percent (18-24). Between the extra turnovers and poor free throw shooting, the Aztecs were in prime position to be clawed by the Cougars…
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