San Diego State responded in impressive fashion following its first loss of the season.
The seventh-ranked Aztecs have also played well in recent matchups with Colorado State, and they will try to add to that dominance Wednesday night.
After falling 71-58 at then-No. 9 BYU last Wednesday, San Diego State scored the first 14 points against Wyoming on Saturday night and got a career-high 24 from Chase Tapley in a 96-57 rout at home.
“I think all of us were just a little bit concerned - would we come out with the edge we needed, and we did,” coach Steve Fisher said.
Tapley had three of a school-record 17 3-pointers for the Aztecs, who shot 53.8 percent while moving back into a first-place tie with BYU in the Mountain West. San Diego State (21-1, 6-1) shot 35.5 percent in the loss to the Cougars.
“We have another chance now to still win the conference outright,” center Brian Carlwell said. “I remember looking at (point guard D.J. Gay) and saying, ‘No more losses.’ We kind of said it at the same time. We’ve got a new focus again, which is good.”
A matchup with Colorado State (15-6, 5-2) might push the Aztecs a step closer to that goal, as they’ve won seven straight over the Rams and 12 of 13.
San Diego State’s 64-52 victory last season was its fifth in a row at Moby Arena, and it also recorded a 13-point home win over the Rams on March 3. Colorado State, though, nearly ended the Aztecs’ run to the conference tournament title in the quarterfinals eight days later.
Gay made two free throws with 23 seconds left and the Rams missed a shot at the buzzer to give San Diego State a 72-71 win. Malcolm Thomas, Billy White and Tapley each had 15 points in that game, while Kawhi Leonard finished with 12 points and six rebounds.
Leonard averaged 13.3 points and 11.0 rebounds in the three meetings. Gay had a combined 33 points in the two regular-season matchups before scoring seven in the tournament win.
Andy Ogide led the Rams with 13 points in last season’s home loss and 18 in the defeat at San Diego State. The senior forward, averaging a team-best 16.1 points, had a career-high 28 in Saturday’s 74-68 win at Utah.
Ogide has scored in double figures in all but one game this season and is averaging a team-best 7.5 rebounds.
“You have to credit our kids,” coach Tim Miles told the school’s official website. “They really had an outstanding effort. Ogide was terrific. That’s as good as I’ve seen him play.”
The Rams’ fourth win in five games kept them in sole possession of third place in the conference. They’re 7-2 at home this season but have dropped four in a row there to ranked teams as part of a 12-game skid against Top 25 foes.
San Diego State is the highest-ranked opponent to visit Moby Arena since then-No. 5 Utah on Feb. 14, 1998.
Despite the Aztecs’ recent success over Colorado State, they trail 35-29 in the series and have dropped 22 of 29 in Fort Collins.