The last two years at Cal, Matt Bradley was one of the Pac-12's leading scorers. He transferred to San Diego State and through 12 games didn't have the same shooting touch he showed in Berkeley.
It came back in a big way on Saturday afternoon.
Bradley poured in 26 points, his best outing as an Aztec, in a 79-49 win over #20 Colorado State to knock the Rams from the ranks of the unbeaten. Bradley scored 14 points in the first half to help SDSU to a 36-32 lead, then took over after the break.
The lefty hit back-to-back 3-pointers and a couple of jumpers to spark a 12-2 run that put it out of reach, something that you have to be careful saying about CSU (a year ago they overcame a 26-point deficit to beat the Aztecs, the largest comeback in Mountain West history).
While Bradley handled the scoring burden early he got help in the 2nd half. Lamont Butler, Keshad Johnson, Aguek Arop, and Chad Baker-Mazara all got to double-figures down the stretch. Baker-Mazara was the last one and he did it with a little extra emphasis.
Butler blocked a 3-point shot and hit the sophomore transfer from Duquesne for a dunk. Almost immediately Baker-Mazara stole a pass and cruised unchallenged for another jam that gave the Aztecs a 24-point lead and took any will to fight completely out of the visitors.
The Aztecs didn't know until the middle of the week that they'd be playing Colorado State on Saturday afternoon. SDSU was scheduled to meet Nevada while the Rams had Boise State. But, when the Wolfpack and Broncos had to bow out due to COVID-19 concerns the Mountain West Conference sent CSU to SDSU because they had a lucrative national TV slot and didn't want to give it up.
CSU came into the game 11-0 but they hadn't played a true road game yet. The few games the played away from home were neutral site tournaments and, as we all know, Viejas Arena is not kind to opposing teams and it was definitely a factor in slowing down the Rams.
Colorado State had the nation's 2nd-best shooting team (trailing only Gonzaga) but shot just 28% from the field, a full 23% less than their season average.
SDSU improves to 10-3 on the year and 2-0 in conference play. They have a pair of road games next week, at Wyoming on Wednesday and New Mexico on Saturday.