Redskins

San Diego St. 78, Nevada 57

San Diego St. 78, Nevada 57

RENO, Nev. (AP) - San Diego State coach Steve Fisher could tell by the way his Aztecs practiced this week they were poised to snap a two-game losing streak and get back in the Mountain West Conference chase on the road at Nevada.

"I think we did what I expected us to do," Fisher said Wednesday night after the Aztecs used a balanced scoring attack, a stingy defense and an 18-3 run late in the second half to earn the victory over the Wolf Pack, 78-57.

"We're a veteran ball club that knows how to win. This victory started on Sunday when we started watching film. We had not been practicing like a championship team should. We were better the last couple days. I'm not surprised with how we came out and played."

Chase Tapley scored 17 points, Jamaal Franklin added 14 and J.J. O'Brien had 12 for the Aztecs (15-4, 3-2 Mountain West). Winston Shepard added nine points, James Rahon and Xavier Thames scored eight apiece.

Malik Story had a team-high 17 points for Nevada (10-8, 1-3), which turned the ball over seven times in the first eight minutes of the game and trailed 39-38 at the half.

Jerry Evans added 14 and Deonte Burton chipped in with 12 for the Wolf Pack.

"In the first half we came out lackadaisical," said Burton, who was 2 of 11 from the field and 1 of 6 from 3-point range to finish nearly five points below his average. "They got on a big run, we came back. But in the second half, we just came out like we did in the first half and they put it on us."

San Diego State held Nevada to only 34.5 percent shooting from the field on the game - 26.1 percent the second half. It was the fourth game in a row it has held an opponent under 36 percent.

"We said we were going to win the game on the defensive end and that's what we did," said Tapley, who made 7 of 12 shots, including 3 of 5 from 3-point range. "We were attacking the glass offensively and defensively, getting second shots and everybody contributed. From the first play, to the last player that came off the bench."

Franklin had an off night from the field, making only 5 of 14 and 1 of 6 from long range but added seven rebounds and five assists for San Diego State, which is now 25-6 in their last 31 road games. That 80.6 percent clip is the fourth-highest winning percentage nationally during a stretch dating to March 6, 2010, behind Kansas' 88 percent, Murray State's 84.8 percent and Wichita State's 82.1 percent.

Nevada's Devonte Elliott made a 17-footer to tie the game at 44 only 5 minutes into the second half, but Rahon's baseline jumper started a 12-4 run capped by Franklin's 3-pointer that put San Diego State ahead for good 56-48 with 10:37 left in the game.

Franklin's floater in the lane started another 14-0 run with five Aztecs scoring including Skylar Spencer's two-handed dunk, Tapley's 3-pointer and a pair of free throws by Thames which made it 70-52 at the 6:22 mark.

It was Nevada's worst margin of defeat of the season at home.

"It's pretty embarrassing when you go from one-point deficit at half and you get beat by 21 at home," Wolf Pack coach David Carter said. "It's really embarrassing. I don't think we've had a team do that."

Story had 15 points in the first half, including two 3-pointers on a 9-0 run which got Nevada back in the game, but he struggled with leg cramps in the second half and had to spend significant time on the bench.

"When Malik (Story) went out, it took a little bit off of what we did offensively," Carter said. "I thought he had a great first half. When he cramped up ... we became a different team, I thought. Once Malik went out, their defense really sunk in on Deonte (Burton) and other guys didn't step up and make any plays."

"I thought they took advantage of our inexperience," he said. "They got dunks, layups and we just missed a lot of assignments."

With Wednesday's win, San Diego State joins seven other schools to win 100 games since the beginning of the 2009 season - Brigham Young, Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Syracuse and Virginia Commonwealth.

The Aztecs had lost only their season opener to Syracuse on an aircraft carrier and to Arizona before consecutive league losses last week to UNLV and Wyoming, which knocked them out of the Associated Press' Top 25. And while many coaches claim the rankings don't matter, Fisher said he hopes they do to his team.

"We want to be recognized nationally and that only comes from winning. We'll enjoy this for a couple hours. Then get back on the plan, get home and get ready for New Mexico," he said.

Quick Links

Derrius Guice understands why Redskins fans are frustrated, but he's looking ahead

Derrius Guice understands why Redskins fans are frustrated, but he's looking ahead

Derrius Guice is a very positive person. Unfortunately, he's playing for a team right now that's shrouded in negativity.

The Redskins have played 10 games this season, and they've walked off the field as losers in nine of those contests. They've gotten rid of their head coach, and many are wondering how many other major changes will come.

And when it comes to the fans, many — if not most — are furious with the direction of the franchise. Guice is noticing that, too.

"It just sucks when I score, or someone else scores, and our team posts a picture to Instagram or Twitter and everything under it is just, 'Fire this, fire that, we suck," Guice told JP Finlay in a 1-on-1 interview on the Redskins Talk podcast. "That doesn't help anything."

The running back understands that frustration. However, he wants those who are angry to know one thing: While this current roster is obviously responsible for the 2019 issues, they aren't responsible for the two-decade-long slump that's affected the organization.

"I'm new here," Guice said. "I understand some of these fans have been here 20-30 years, but like, there's a lot of guys on this team that are new. Y'all can't bring all that negativity to us like we've been here 20 years. I don't think that's fair to us players."

That's what makes this situation so difficult for those on the field and those who watch those on the field. Fans have been on this unsatisfying ride for far too long, yet most of the players hopped on a stop or two ago. 

So people who post those hateful comments or send those angry DMs are doing so because they've seen a handful of free agency and draft classes bust, and because they've seen numerous coaches come in and fail, and they've been lied to repeatedly about how "close" the Redskins are. They aren't necessarily trying to take it out on Guice or Dwayne Haskins or Landon Collins, it just appears that way.

Guice, for one, is trying his best to improve how he handles that side of being an athlete. He's also choosing to focus on those who've stayed on his side through what's been a trying first couple of seasons in the league.

For all the negativity he encounters, he's grateful for those who remain positive like him.

"A guy that's been there two years and has only played two real games, there's a lot of fans that have still never left my side since I got drafted," Guice said. "That's something I always have to cherish."

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

Quick Links

Report: Phillies sign another National, bring on assistant hitting coach Joe Dillion

Report: Phillies sign another National, bring on assistant hitting coach Joe Dillion

When you win a championship the way the Nationals did, other teams are going to try and capture that magic in any way they can. 

Of course, Anthony Rendon and Stephen Strasburg are at risk of leaving town and free agency, but now the Davey Martinez will have to make changes to his coaching staff as well. 

According to Jim Salisbury, the Phillies hired Washington's assistant hitting coach Joe Dillon as their new hitting coach under manager Joe Girardi. 

Working with hitting coach Kevin Long, Dillon helped the Nationals lead the national league in on-base percentage while ranking second in batting average and OPS. 

The Phillies struggled at the plate in 2019, ranking 22nd in batting average, 19th in on-base percentage and 17th in OPS. Despite acquiring Bryce Harper, Jean Segura and JT Realmuto last offseason, Philadelphia boasted an anemic offense under former hitting coach John Mallee. 

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: