San Diego — Undefeated and 13th-ranked San Diego State passed the first test of its toughest stretch of the season when it outlasted old friend Justin Hutson and undermanned Fresno State.
Malachi Flynn scored 16 points and Matt Mitchell had 15 for SDSU, which beat the Bulldogs 61-52 Wednesday to remain one of two undefeated teams nationally.
Mitchell had three big baskets in the second half in his first start of the season and Flynn, a transfer guard, scored his 1,000th career point as SDSU (14-0, 3-0 Mountain West) remains on its hottest start in nine seasons. The Aztecs haven’t been this good since 2010-11, when they opened 20-0 behind Kawhi Leonard and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time before finishing 34-3.
“Someone asked me if I wanted to lose a game to take the pressure off and I said ‘Are you insane?’ coach Brian Dutcher said. “I want to win them all. We like the pressure. We want to keep it on and we’ll see as hostile an environment as anybody in the country when we go to Logan and play Utah State next game.”
Utah State was the unanimous preseason pick to repeat as MWC champion. The Aggies beat the Aztecs 64-57 in the conference tournament championship game to earn an NCAA Tournament berth. The Aztecs missed the postseason.
SDSU and Auburn remain the nation’s only undefeated teams. The Aztecs snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bulldogs, who had won their last three games at Viejas Arena.
More Top 25
(At) No. 24 Wichita State 75, East Carolina 69: Erik Stevenson scored 17 points. Stevenson scored 10 of his 17 points after halftime for the Shockers (12-1, 1-0 American), who trailed midway through the second half thanks to East Carolina’s Jayden Gardner scoring 20 of his 29 points after halftime.
Jamarius Burton had 15 points for Wichita State while Tyson Etienne and Trey Wade added 11 each for the Shockers.
J.J. Miles scored 12 points for the Pirates (6-8, 0-1 American), and Tremont Robinson-White added 11.