An upset, a blowout and an all-time Aztec debut highlighted the opening day of the college hoops season.
San Diego State 66, UC Riverside 53
Matt Bradley has wasted no time establishing himself as the focal point of San Diego State's offense.
After an impressive showing in their exhibition win over Saint Katherine, Bradley poured in 23 points to help the Aztecs win their ninth straight season opener. The 23 points marks the highest output for a player in their SDSU debut since 2006.
San Diego State trailed by four with under nine minutes left in the opening half when Bradley blocked Jhaylon Martinez at the rim. The Cal transfer got the ball and scored in the lane on the other end to shave their deficit to two. On the following possession he drilled a stepback jumper to tie it up. It was part of an 8-0 run that gave the Aztecs the lead for good.
Trey Pulliam added 15 points for SDSU. Nathan Mensah scored eight with 10 boards.
The Aztecs head to BYU Friday.
UC San Diego 80, Cal 67
The Tritons opened their second season of Division I basketball with their first ever victory over a Pac-12 program.
Eric Olen's squad trailed by 11 in the first half. By halftime the deficit was down to four.
Toni Rocak found Francis Nwaokorie under the hoop to give UC San Diego a 49-48 lead. They didn't trail the rest of the game.
Rocak poured in 27 points, 16 of which came in the first half. Torrey Pines grad Bryce Pope added 18.
Tritons host George Washington Saturday night.
San Diego 103, La Verne 38
Sam Scholl welcomed a Division III program to the Jenny Craig Pavilion and sent them packing with a lopsided loss.
The Toreros dominated La Verne thanks in part to a balanced attack on offense. Six Toreros scored in double figures, led by 15 from center Vladimir Pinchuk.
Three of Scholl's five transfers posted 10 or more. Terrell Brown (Pitt) put up 13 with six rebounds and three blocks. Former Denver standout Jase Townsend had 13, including a perfect 3-for-3 from deep. St. John's transplant Marcellus Earlington finished with 10 points.
The Toreros held La Verne to 26.5 percent shooting from the floor, and just 7.7 percent from deep.
They visit Nevada Friday.