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No. 7 San Diego State runs away from Wyoming to keep Pokes winless in league
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UW MEN’S BASKETBALL | NO. 7 SAN DIEGO STATE 72, WYOMING 52

No. 7 San Diego State runs away from Wyoming to keep Pokes winless in league

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LARAMIE — Wyoming wasn't much of a threat to San Diego State's perfect season Wednesday.

The seventh-ranked Aztecs stayed unbeaten and kept Wyoming winless in Mountain West play with a 72-52 win at the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys have lost six straight league games and 20 of their last 24 dating back to last season.

Hunter Maldonado led the Cowboys with 18 points and seven rebounds. True freshman Kenny Foster added seven points and five boards in his first career start, but Wyoming couldn’t keep up with perhaps the most complete team it’s faced all season.

"I think they're a team that's connected both defensively and offensively," Wyoming coach Allen Edwards said. "They play together and play hard."

One of two unbeatens left in college basketball, SDSU took control early, leading 32-21 at the half and maintaining a double-digit lead from there. Malachi Flynn led three Aztecs in double figures with 19 points and four assists while Yanni Wetzell added 17 points for the Aztecs, who shot 52.1 percent from the field, 34.8 percent from 3-point range and 93.3 percent (14 of 15) from the free-throw line.

SDSU, which led by as many as 23, held Wyoming to 33.3 percent shooting, including just 22.7 percent from beyond the arc. The Cowboys, who were averaging a league-worst 60 points per game coming in, have failed to score more than 65 points in all but one of their league games.

"We always have a segment where spend 20 to 30 minutes getting up shots within our offense," said forward Hunter Thompson, who reached double figures for the first time in the last five games with 15 points on 6 of 13 shooting. "It's not like we're just not working on it. I just think we need to find a way to translate the defense and offense over to the game.

"I wish I knew a better way to explain it, but it's frustrating when we do work on it and it doesn't translate over."

After allowing Colorado State to shoot 51 percent from the floor in Saturday’s loss, the Cowboys didn’t do much to slow down a SDSU team that began the day ranked in the top 3 in the MW in scoring and field-goal percentage. The Aztecs shot 56.5 percent from the field in the first half en route to their 11-point halftime lead.

Wyoming trailed just 18-15 before SDSU made six of its final eight shots of the half.

"For a team that plays as hard as them, we've got to play like that for a whole game to be in a position to win at the end of the game," Maldonado said. "I credit them. They played hard. They're a tough team, and they came out and did what they had to do."

Maldonado had eight of his points in the first 20 minutes, but the Cowboys shot just 33.3 percent in the half. Wyoming forced SDSU into seven turnovers in the first half and 10 total but scored just four points off of them.

Maldonado also helped Wyoming hang with SDSU on the boards. The Cowboys came in with worst rebounding margin in the MW but were outrebound by just three (30-27).

Yet the Cowboys weren't good enough in any other facet to cool off the Aztecs or end their own futility within the league.

"If you're not getting what you want, you have to put in the work to get better," Edwards said. "And I say that to our guys, and I even say that to our staff and myself. Put in more time for us to get better as a basketball program."

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College Sports Reporter

Davis Potter is the University of Wyoming athletics reporter. An Alabama native and 2011 Auburn University graduate, Potter joined the Star-Tribune in 2018 after five years covering Ole Miss and the Southeastern Conference. He lives in Laramie.

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