Aztecs Finish Regular Season With a Flourish

SDSU beats #21 Nevada for 6th straight win on Senior Night

Saturday night was senior night at San Diego State … in a few different ways.

Trey Kell, Malik Pope, and Kameron Rooks were all playing the last regular-season game of their Aztecs careers. They made it a memorable one.

All three seniors finished in double-digits in a 79-74 win over 21st-ranked Nevada at Viejas Arena. It’s the 6th straight win for the Aztecs and, most importantly, gives them a first-round bye in next week’s Mountain West Conference Tournament in Las Vegas so instead of having to win four games in four days they only have to win three games in three days.

Rooks, who only averaged 2.5 points a game for the year, had his best showing as an Aztec. The 7-foot-1 center scored 12 points and made all six of his shots from the floor. He also had six rebounds and three blocked shots.

Pope was efficient, making seven of his 11 shots to finish with 16 points. But the difference maker on this club is Kell. The St. Augustine High School alum had his senior season interrupted by pneumonia and an ankle injury and without him the Aztecs struggled.

After Kell got healthy and back in the starting lineup SDSU has looked like a different team. He had 17 points and nine assists in his final appearance on Montezuma Mesa and hit a monster jump shot with 41 seconds left to stomp out a Wolfpack run.

San Diego State is the 5th seed in the MWC Tournament and will play Fresno State at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday. If they win they’ll likely get another matchup with Nevada, the regular season champs. Despite wins over Gonzaga and Nevada the only way the Aztecs are going to get into the NCAA Tournament is earn the automatic berth that comes with winning the conference tournament.

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