Energy can sometimes be measured in numbers, and in recording their first victory of the season over BYU to win the Mountain West Conference Tournament title, San Diego State played at a high-voltage level that made the Cougars looked overmatched.
San Diego State's higher energy level started early.
The first half was all about the Aztecs' defense and inside power game. The Aztecs, in grabbing an early 11-point lead and maintaining it through the intermission, held the Cougars to 32 percent shooting in the first half and 31 percent from behind the arch. Meanwhile, the Aztecs made 55 percent of their shots and 57 percent from 3-point range.
More importantly, the Aztecs forced the Cougars into six turnovers and scored 11 points off of those turnovers in building a 43-31 halftime lead. At the break, the Aztecs also held a 5-1 advantage in steals, a 10-5 advantage in assists, a 24-6 advantage in points in the paint and an 8-3 edge in fast-break points. All numbers that showed a higher energy level.
San Diego State's Billy White did damage by hitting 6-of-7 shots early in the contest. He also added six rebounds and four steals by halftime. He finished with 21 points, five steals and 12 rebounds, seven of which were offensive.
Prior to making a run late to close to within 62-52 with four minutes remaining, the Cougars had made only 15 of 47 shots. Unfortunately for the Cougars, they appeared to play tired down the stretch, while the Aztecs turned up the energy once again and pulled away.4 comments on this story
The Cougars shot only 32 percent to San Diego State's 45 percent. The Cougars actually held their own on the boards, but the Aztecs dominated the paint with a 40-16 advantage on inside scoring. The Aztecs also finished 21-9 on second-chance points, 15-4 on points off turnovers and 14-5 in fast-break points.
Jimmer Fredette reached the 30-point plateau once again on 10-of-25 shooting. The rest of BYU's team, however, was only 9-of-34. Also, BYU had just seven assists on 19 field goals.
Stephen Rogers scored BYUs only two bench points. Noah Hartsock had an especially tough time against San Diego State's bigger guys, hitting only 2-of-10 shots, while missing all five of his 3-point attempts.