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Aztecs Improve Seeding With Third Straight Win

San Diego State looks like it’s back on track after Wednesday’s 67-56 win at Air Force.True freshman Matt Mitchell came out firing and finished with a team-high 17 points to pace the Aztecs. But he had help.Fellow first-year player Jordan Schakel keyed a 9-2 run to close out the first half when he drilled a triple despite getting fouled.Schakel would sink the ensuing free throw to complete the rare four-point play and the game immediately turned in favor of the visitors.SDSU led 26-23 at the break before pulling away.Mitchell poured in 11 of his 17 points in the first four minutes of the second half to help SDSU open up a 43-28 lead.Air Force never really threatened after that.Malik Pope added 13 points and Jalen McDaniels chipped in with seven points and seven rebounds.In a statistical anomaly, Air Force only attempted two free throws in the entire contest – and both came late in the second half.SDSU earned its third straight victory and moved to 16-10 overall (8-7 in the Mountain West).The Aztecs have not finished under .500 in league play since 2005.This victory over Air Force should help them maintain that streak.SDSU visits struggling San Jose State this Saturday before imposing road tests at Boise State and Nevada.The Spartans are winless in conference play this season, so the Aztecs should finish with at least 9 or 10 wins in the MW before turning their attention to the postseason.Ultimately the only path for the Aztecs into the NCAA tournament is if they win their conference tournament.Yes, that victory over a ranked Gonzaga squad looks nice on the resume but a borderline .500 record in a less than stellar MW is not going to whet the committee’s appetite.SDSU’s best chance at rejoining the Madness is to claim one of the top five seeds in the standings when the regular season ends.That will allow the Scarlet and Black to skip the opening round in Las Vegas.Three wins in three days is a more realistic mountain to climb as opposed to the gauntlet of four games in four nights.Photo Credit:
Source: NBC San Diego

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