SAN DIEGO (AP) — Matt Bradley scored 26 points and San Diego State handed No. 20 Colorado State its first loss of the season, 79-49 Saturday in a game that wasn’t supposed to be played until March 1.
Chad Baker-Mazara added 14 points for SDSU, (10-3, 2-0 Mountain West), which outscored the Rams 43-17 in the second half for its largest victory margin ever against a ranked team. Colorado State had been one of three undefeated teams left in Division I coming into Saturday.
The Aztecs originally were scheduled to play Nevada on Saturday but that game was postponed due to COVID-19 issues with the Wolf Pack. The Rams (11-1, 1-1) were supposed to have played at Boise State on Friday night, but that game was postponed due to COVID-19 concerns with the Broncos. The Mountain West adjusted the schedule on Wednesday and sent the Rams to San Diego.
Isaiah Stevens had 19 and David Roddy 17 for Colorado State. Lamont Butler, who returned from a broken wrist, had 11 for SDSU while Aguek Arop had 10.
SDSU held the Rams to just 27.9% shooting from the field.
Bradley, a senior transfer from California, came on strong late in the first half and stayed hot in the second half in his highest-scoring game of the season. He hit consecutive 3-pointers to help the Aztecs extend a four-point halftime lead to 40-34, and just a few minutes later made consecutive turnaround jumpers to push the lead to 49-36.
Bradley hit a 3-pointer to give SDSU a 19-12 lead with just more than nine minutes left. The Rams came back to tie it several times, the last at 30-30 on two free throws by Roddy with 2:03 left. Bradley then hit a jumper to put the Aztecs ahead and then had a layup right before the buzzer to give him 14 points at the break.
Baker-Mazara scored seven straight points late in the game, on consecutive dunks and then a 3-pointer. The first dunk was set up when Butler blocked a 3-pointer by John Tonje and the second one came after Baker-Mazara’s steal.
Colorado State: The Rams appeared to be at close to full strength. They have been ranked in The Associated Press Top 25 for four straight weeks, a first in school history. The last time they were in the AP poll was in late December 2014.
San Diego State: Butler returned after missing five games with a broken left wrist. But Adam Seiko and Joshua Tomaic, regulars in the rotation, were among several members of the SDSU program, including walk-ons and managers, who missed the game due to the COVID-19 protocol.
Colorado State hosts Utah State on Wednesday.
San Diego State is at Wyoming on Wednesday.