Men's College Basketball
Preview
UC Riverside at San Diego St.
When: 11:00 PM ET, Monday, December 22, 2014
Where: Viejas Arena at Aztec Bowl, San Diego, California

San Diego State attempts to corral its 21st consecutive home victory when UC Riverside visits on Monday. The No. 17 Aztecs are just 2-2 over their last four games but the losses came on the road to Washington and Cincinnati. San Diego State posted a 70-57 win over Ball State on Saturday and the postgame dialogue included chatter that the team hasn’t played up to expectations during the early part of the season.

Junior forward Winston Shepard is aware of the perception and points out that only a handful of teams nationwide are playing at their full capacity. “That’s not an excuse for us, but I think we’re going to be just fine,” Shepard said during the post-game press conference. “We have good guys in the locker room, and we have guys that love the game and want to get better.” UC Riverside defeated Houston Baptist 78-67 on Saturday as forward Taylor Johns scored a season-best 28 points and collected a career-high 17 rebounds.

TV: 11 p.m. ET, FSN San Diego

ABOUT UC RIVERSIDE (6-4): Johns has team-leading averages of 16.5 points and 8.8 rebounds and has posted three double-doubles. His 17 boards against Houston Baptist is the second-most since the Highlanders became a Division I program, topped only by the 20 grabbed by Vili Morton against Long Beach State on Feb. 2, 2002. Guard Jaylen Bland is the lone other player scoring in double digits – he’s averaging 14.2 points – and has knocked down a team-best 29 3-point baskets.

ABOUT SAN DIEGO STATE (8-3): The status of guard Aqeel Quinn is up in the air after he injured his hip during the victory over Ball State. “He fell hard as you saw with a hip pointer,” Aztecs coach Steve Fisher said in the post-game press conference. “I don’t know what that will mean. He fell very hard right on the hip so we’ll see.” Quinn is having a rough season physically as he returned on Wednesday against Cincinnati after a three-game absence due to broken hand.

TIP-INS

1. Shepard has scored in double figures in three straight games and seven times overall this season.

2. Highlanders G Nick Gruninger (95 percent) and Bland (87.5) are superb free-throw shooters.

3. Aztecs F Angelo Chol (knee) attempted to tough it out through the injury against Ball State but played just three minutes before departing.

PREDICTION: San Diego State 66, UC Riverside 50
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
UC Riverside 6-4 W1 5-1 1-3 0-0 5-1 1-3 0-0
San Diego St. 8-3 W1 6-0 0-2 2-1 2-1 6-2 0-0
Last Meeting
UC Riverside San Diego St.
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
11/8/13 UCRV 41 SDSU 77 41 29 30.8 77 38 41.8
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
UC Riverside T. Johns 14 45.5 4
San Diego St. X. Thames 15 41.7 3
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
UC Riverside T. Johns 9 7 2
San Diego St. J. Davis 8 1 7
Assists Player  
UC Riverside L. Devenny 1
San Diego St. W. Shepard 5
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
UC Riverside T. Johns 165 50.4 39
San Diego St. W. Shepard 124 45.5 40
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
UC Riverside T. Johns 88 36 52
San Diego St. J. O'Brien 65 30 35
Assists Player  
UC Riverside S. Jones 35
San Diego St. J. O'Brien 23
Quickchart Matchup
UC Riverside Off vs  San Diego St. Defense
67.5 Points For
56.6 Points Against
42.5 FG%
37.4 FG%
29.9 Reb
30.5 Reb
San Diego St. Off vs  UC Riverside Defense
63.0 Points For
68.0 Points Against
40.4 FG%
45.6 FG%
30.5 Reb
29.6 Reb