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Basketball Preview: We’re Talkin’ San Diego State

The fight for fifth place in Maui!

NCAA Basketball: Iowa State at Illinois Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Things went a lot better for Iowa State last night as they notched their first win of the Maui Invitational. Now they will look to go home 2-1 as they take on San Diego State this afternoon.

Last Time Out

Iowa State struggled to start things off against Illinois. Shots weren’t falling and charges were called all afternoon it seemed like. Illinois came out guns blazing and they kept the Iowa State offense in check for almost the entire first half. The Cyclones would go to the locker room trailing at the half 39-34.

After Illinois extended its lead right out of halftime, Iowa State used a 10-0 run to take a 44-41 lead and Iowa State never trailed again, eventually opening up a lead that climbed as high as 20. Iowa State outscored Illinois 50-29 in the second half.

Iowa State was led in scoring by Talen Horton-Tucker. Horton-Tucker scored 26 points, and tallied fourteen rebounds, six assists and blocked three shots in the win. The freshman scored 22 of his 26 points in the second half.

Michael Jacobson scored 23 points with eight rebounds, Marial Shayok added 17 points and seven rebounds and Nick Weiler-Babb was the fourth Iowa Stater in double-figures with ten points and five assists.

About San Diego State

San Diego State comes into this game scoring 107.8 points per 100 possessions (65th in the NCAA), while allowing just 97.0 points per 100 possessions on the defensive end of the floor (71st in the NCAA). San Diego State ranks among the top-50 teams in the country in three-point shooting, hitting 39.8 percent of their attempts from long-range through their first four games.

San Diego State also does a good job of crashing the offensive glass and getting to the free throw line. They sport an offensive rebounding percentage of 32.4 percent, and a free throw rate of 46.7 percent (36th in the NCAA) so far this year.

The Aztecs rallied for an impressive win against Xavier on Tuesday, erasing an early 19-point deficit after Xavier started the game on fire from beyond the arc. Following their blowout loss to Duke, San Diego State fell behind early against Xavier, but used a 19-3 run to close the gap before halftime, and led by nine midway through the second half before closing the game out at the free throw line.

Opponent Players To Watch

Normally we would pick one player here, but San Diego State has two scorers Daylen Watson and Jaden McDaniels.

Devin Watson, the senior was the team’s second-leading scorer a season ago and led the team in assists. He now leads the Aztecs in scoring with just over 17 points a game while shooting over 45% from deep. This will be a tough guard for Iowa State, but they have seen some great shooters over the last two days.

Secondly, there’s Jaden McDaniels, one of the top 10 players in the class of 2018. At 6-foot-10, McDaniels can step out to the perimeter and knock down jumpers. However, he’s had trouble adding weight to his frame and can be muscled out of the way because of it, both on rebounds and when he’s attempting to defend in the paint. So far this season, McDaniels leads San Diego State in rebounds and is second on the team in scoring with just over 16 points a game.

What To Expect

I think we’re going to see another fast pace game with a lot of shooting. San Diego State can score the basketball, but did get off to a slow start yesterday. Iowa State will need to jump on them early and keep them down as they’re plenty capable of making a big comeback.

Iowa State’s only issue this whole tournament has been missing wide open shots, but they should get their looks today. San Diego State had trouble guarding the three against Duke, so the Cyclones will likely continue to look for open looks from behind the arc, as they have for most of the tournament. That being said, if Iowa State is knocking down their threes and Talen Horton-Tucker is on his game, I’ll take the Cyclones by seven in this one.

Iowa State- 79 San Diego State-72

Pick Three

1- Talen Horton-Tucker is the player of the game

2-Micheal Jacobson scores 20 again

3- Terrance Lewis hits two threes

Game Notes

Where: Maui, HI - Lahaina Civic Center (2,400)

When: Wednesday, Nov. 21st, 1:30 p.m. (CST)

Radio: Cyclone Radio Network with John Walters and Eric Heft