California Kings

The Aztecs Beat UCLA To Continue Golden State Mastery

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Paul Parks
    Steve Fisher's team is dominating California teams.

    The last time San Diego State beat UCLA in basketball, John Wooden was still 8 years away from taking over as the Bruins head coach.

    It was December 7, 1940, exactly one year before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Since then UCLA has won more national championships than San Diego State has won NCAA Tournament games. Saturday night, the Aztecs finally got the best of the Bruins.

    SDSU beat UCLA 78-69 in the John Wooden Classic at the Honda Center in Anaheim. The Aztecs have now won 26 straight games against teams from California. As one sign in the stands pointed out, "We Run Cali."

    Guard Jamaal Franklin scored a game-high 28 points, 21 of them coming in the second half. He also had a team-best 7 rebounds.

    Fellow guard Xavier Thames backed up Franklin with 19 points, hitting 5 of his 6 shots from 3-point range.

    Down the stretch the Aztecs put the game away at the free throw line, hitting 11 of 12 foul shots in the second half. That used to be a bug-a-boo for the Aztecs. Now it's become a strength.

    "I'm proud of our team," said head coach Steve Fisher. "It's a wonderful team victory, and I thought we did it in a fashion that good teams do. We earned it. We played like a veteran ball club, and we've got the veterans. We played like a team that expects to win."

    Since their season-opening loss to Syracuse, the Aztecs have rattled off five straight wins. They should expect to win every game they play for the rest of the regular season, especially if they have a lead late.

    SDSU has won 75 straight games in which they had the lead with five minutes to play. Perhaps Coach Fisher can show the Chargers a few things about how to finish games.