Upbeat Aztecs stop KU's home streak

LAWRENCE, Kan. — It was so loud inside Allen Fieldhouse that San Diego State's players could barely hear what coach Steve Fisher was saying, yet they knew what the message would be as the timeout ended.

No matter the situation, it's always the same.

"He just tells you to think something positive, whether it's basketball, family, whatever. Think something positive," Xavier Thames said. "I think that really helps."

It sure seemed to settle down the Aztecs.

Thames had 16 points and hit four straight free throws in the closing seconds Sunday, helping No. 21 San Diego State knock off No. 16 Kansas 61-57, ending the Jayhawks' 68-game nonconference winning streak at their venerable on-campus arena.

Skylar Spencer added 13 points and Josh Davis 10 for the Aztecs (12-1), who have won 11 straight since losing to No. 1 Arizona on Nov. 14. That streak is tied for the second-best in school history, trailing only the 20-0 start of the 2010-11 team.

"Our coach never gets rattled," San Diego State forward Winston Shepard said. "He's always even keeled, whether we're up 20 or it's a close game in here. After every timeout, he tells us to take a good thought out there."

Kansas (9-4) still had a chance to tie when Perry Ellis went to the free-throw line with 11.9 seconds left. He made his first but, after San Diego State called a timeout to ice him, missed the second, and the Jayhawks were forced to foul.

NO. 4 WIS. 75, NO. 22 IOWA 71: Ben Brust had 19 points for the host Badgers (15-0, 2-0 Big Ten), who matched the best start in school history.

NO. 8 WICHITA ST. 67, N. IOWA 53: Fred VanVleet had a season-high 22 points for the host Shockers (15-0, 2-0 MVC), who set a school record for consecutive wins.

NO. 20 COLO. 100, NO. 10 OREGON 91: Askia Booker had a career-high 27 points, 11 in the last 4:40, and the host Buffaloes (13-2, 2-0 Pac-12) rallied in the second half to deny the Ducks (13-1, 1-1) their first 14-0 start since 1937-38.

NO. 11 VILLANOVA 91, PROVIDENCE 61: JayVaughn Pinkston had 19 points as the host Wildcats (13-1, 2-0 Big East) cruised.

WAKE 73, NO. 19 UNC 67: Travis McKie had 10 of his 16 points in the second half for the host Demon Deacons, who took control with a 15-2 run midway through the half and upset the Tar Heels (10-4) in an ACC opener for both teams.

Women

UF UPSETS KENTUCKY: Jaterra Bonds had 23 points for the visiting Gators (12-3, 2-0 SEC), who won their eighth straight game. Florida trailed 70-69 with four minutes left but outscored the Wildcats (12-2, 1-1) 14-3 the rest of the way. "Kentucky is a great team and it's a fantastic win, not only to play and beat them, but beat them here," Florida coach Amanda Butler said.

NO. 2 NOTRE DAME 71, CLEMSON 51: Natalie Achonwa had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the host Irish (13-0), who won their 36th consecutive regular-season game in their ACC debut.

NO. 3 DUKE 64, GA. TECH 47: Elizabeth Williams had 18 points and 10 rebounds to help the visiting Blue Devils (14-1) beat the Yellow Jackets for the 36th straight time in an ACC opener.

NO. 4 STANFORD 89, OREGON ST. 67: Chiney Ogwumike had 17 of her 31 points in the first 8½ minutes to power the host Cardinal (13-1, 2-0 Pac-12).

NO. 5 TENN. 85, NO. 19 GEORGIA 70: Ariel Massengale had a career-high 28 points for the visiting Volunteers (12-2, 1-1 SEC), who beat the Bulldogs (12-3, 0-2) for the sixth straight time.

NO. 8 MARYLAND 79, NO. 10 UNC 70: Alyssa Thomas had 21 points and 13 rebounds for the visiting Terrapins (13-1) in their final ACC opener. Big Ten-bound Maryland led the Tar Heels (12-3, 0-1) for all but about 90 seconds.

NO. 9 BAYLOR 75, KANSAS 55: Odyssey Sims had 30 points and matched the school record with her 195th career 3-pointer for the Bears (12-1, 2-0 Big 12), who won their 68th straight home game.

NO. 13 S.C. 76, VANDY 66: Alaina Coates had a career-high 24 points and added 10 rebounds and three blocks for the host Gamecocks (14-1, 2-0 SEC), who won their fourth straight over the Commodores.

NO. 14 IOWA ST. 82, NO. 25 OKLA. 75, OT: Jadda Buckley had 29 points for the visiting Cyclones (13-0, 2-0 Big 12), who shot 45.5 percent and made 13 3-pointers to defeat the Sooners (10-5, 1-1).

NO. 15 PENN ST. 87, NO. 22 IOWA 71: Maggie Lucas hit five 3-pointers on her way to 27 points for the Lions (10-3), who beat a ranked team for the second time this season in a Big Ten opener. The Hawkeyes (12-3) lost for the first time at home.

NO. 16 LSU 63, TULANE 35: Reigning SEC scoring champion Theresa Plaisance, playing in her hometown, had 15 points and 14 rebounds to power the visiting Tigers (12-2, 1-0) to their third straight win.

N.C. STATE 67, NO. 20 SYRACUSE 61: Miah Spencer's layup with just more than a minute left put the host Wolfpack ahead, and it sealed the win from the free-throw line as the Orange (11-3) fell in its ACC debut.

NO. 23 CAL 101, OREGON 98, OT: Reshanda Gray had 33 points and 13 rebounds as the host Golden Bears (10-3, 2-0 Pac-12) overcame a late rally.

NO. 24 ARIZ. ST. 78, WASH. 60: Katie Hempen had 12 points off the bench to lead the visiting Sun Devils (12-2, 1-1 Pac-12).

Upbeat Aztecs stop KU's home streak 01/05/14 [Last modified: Sunday, January 5, 2014 10:39pm]

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