Watson leads San Diego State to 66-57 victory over Toreros




SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Devin Watson scored 26 points and visiting San Diego State handed San Diego its first loss of the season, 66-57 on Thursday night.

The Aztecs (6-2) won the crosstown rivalry for the 11th time in 12 seasons. Their only loss to the Toreros in that span came two seasons ago when they were stunned by the Toreros in a game played outside at Petco Park, the downtown home of the San Diego Padres.

USD (5-1) had opened with five straight wins for just the third time since moving to Division I in 1979-80.

SDSU held USD to 37.7-percent shooting, including 27.3 percent (3 of 11) from behind the 3-point line. The Aztecs shot 46.7 percent.

Matt Mitchell scored 13 and Jeremy Hemsley 11 for SDSU.

Isaiah Pineiro led USD with 19 points, while Olin Carter III scored 12 and Isaiah Wright 10.

SDSU lead 30-22 at halftime before letting the Toreros close to 36-32 on a 3-pointer by Wright four minutes into the second half. The Aztecs quickly regained control during a 9-2 run, getting five points from Hemsley and a layup each from Mitchell and Malik Pope to go up 45-34.

SDSU twice took 14-point leads late in the first half, first at 25-11 when Kameron Rooks converted a 3-point play and then when Watson hit a jumper to make it 27-13. USD closed on a 9-3 run, including a 3-pointer by Carter, to pull within eight points at halftime.

BIG PICTURE

San Diego State: The Aztecs were coming off a particularly tough loss to Washington State in the championship game of the Wooden Legacy in which they not only blew a nine-point lead in the second half, but saw Pope and guard Trey Kell suffer injuries. While Pope was good to go Thursday night, Kell missed the game with a sprained right ankle. Pope had six points and nine rebounds.

San Diego: The Toreros had been off to their hottest start since 2013-14, when they also opened 5-0. The only other time USD had that good of a start was 1990-91, when it also won its first five games.

UP NEXT

San Diego State returns to Viejas Arena on Sunday afternoon to host Bradley in the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge.

San Diego plays at UC Santa Barbara on Saturday night.

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