SAN DIEGO (AP) — Dwayne Polee II scored 14 points and JJ O’Brien had 13 as No. 13 San Diego State beat San Diego 57-48 Thursday night, the Aztecs’ ninth straight victory in the city rivalry.
The sloppy Aztecs (6-1), who had 15 turnovers and missed 14 of 27 free throw attempts, were playing their first game since a 61-59 loss to No. 3 Arizona in the championship game of the Maui Invitational on Nov. 26. The Aztecs were 1 of 9 from the line at one point.
SDSU led by 10 points less than five minutes in and kept a big enough cushion to keep USD from having a shot at an upset like last year, when Duda Sanadze’s 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark, letting SDSU escape with a 65-64 victory.
Freshman guard Trey Kell had 10 points for SDSU.
Johnny Dee scored 16 points for USD (4-4). Christopher Anderson, who came in averaging 10.3 points, was held scoreless. He was 0 for 9 from the field, including six attempts from 3-point range.
SDSU led 31-19 at halftime and let the Toreros close to 38-35 on a slam dunk by Jito Kok and a free throw by Cameron Neubauer with 13:44 left, the closest USD had been since it was 17-10 halfway through the first half.
The Aztecs regained the momentum with a five-point swing. Kell made a jumper and was fouled. He missed the free throw but O’Brien rebounded and the Aztecs worked it around to Polee, whose 3-pointer made it 40-28 with 13:11 left.
The Toreros closed to 55-48 when Dee was fouled taking a 3-pointer and made all three free throws with 48.4 seconds remaining.
Polee made two free throws with 47.3 seconds left to seal it.
SDSU got 3-pointers from Polee and Kell in building leads of 8-0 and 13-3. USD’s only basket in the first 3 1/2 minutes was a 3-pointer by Dee.
The Aztecs outrebounded USD 38-30, with Angelo Chol grabbing seven. Kok had 10 for the Toreros.
San Diego: Sanadze, USD’s sixth man, didn’t dress due to plantar fasciitis.
San Diego State: Coach Steve Fisher was recognized before the game for becoming the winningest coach in program history. The Aztecs’ 74-57 victory against Pitt in the Maui semifinals was his 317th.
San Diego plays at UCLA on Sunday.
San Diego State plays at Washington on Sunday.