San Diego State recorded its first decisive victory of the Mountain West season last time out, but coach Steve Fisher was already looking ahead to a potentially tougher matchup.
The 13th-ranked Aztecs will visit an improved Wyoming team Tuesday night as they try to extend a 10-game win streak and give Fisher his 250th victory at the school.
Chase Tapley had a team-best 16 points for his 13th straight game in double figures, and Jamaal Franklin recorded his fourth double-double in six contests with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
“We will be excited about (the win), and look forward to coming back tomorrow, getting ourselves prepped and ready for a very difficult game in Wyoming against the Cowboys, who are playing exceptionally well,” Fisher said.
After finishing 10-21 in each of the previous two seasons, Wyoming (16-3, 2-1) has made considerable strides in coach Larry Shyatt’s second stint at the school. He coached there in 1997-98 before returning to Clemson and was an assistant at Florida for seven seasons until being re-hired March 31.
Under Shyatt, the Cowboys have one of the nation’s best defenses, allowing 53.1 points per game on 38.4 percent shooting. Wyoming gave up an average of 69.7 points in 2010-11 and was beaten by a combined 66 points in its two matchups with San Diego State, falling 85-58 in Laramie on March 1.
The Cowboys have also benefited from the addition of Leonard Washington, a transfer from USC, and Luke Martinez’s recovery from a broken left elbow that caused him to miss all of last season.
Washington is averaging 12.9 points on 62.3 percent shooting and a team-best 6.7 rebounds. Martinez leads the Cowboys with 13.3 points per game with much of that coming from 3-point range, where he’s made 50 of his 73 total baskets.
Wyoming is 12-1 at home and bounced back from that lone defeat, 72-62 to New Mexico on Jan. 14, with consecutive victories. Washington had career highs of 32 points and 14 rebounds during a 70-51 rout of visiting Colorado State on Saturday.
“I really liked our edge the whole game,” Shyatt said. “Whether it’s been after a couple good wins or after a couple tough losses, our team has kept their focus all year and stayed the course.”
Trips to Wyoming haven’t usually been easy on the Aztecs, as they’ve lost in 24 of 31 all-time visits and five of their past eight.
San Diego State enters having won four in a row on the road, including 61-57 over then-No. 23 Arizona on Nov. 23, and its 10-game overall run is the third-longest in school history.
The Aztecs have won 57 of 58 against teams not ranked in the AP poll, and they’re seeking a series high-tying fourth consecutive win over the Cowboys.
Wyoming leads the series 37-32 but has lost 14 of the past 21 matchups.