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Mitchell, Schakel lead SDSU to 73-58 win over No. 22 UCLA

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Matt Mitchell and Jordan Schakel scored 15 points apiece and San Diego State used its disruptive defense and 3-point shots to beat No. 22 UCLA 73-58 Wednesday night in the season opener for both teams.

Mitchell and Schakel hit 3s early in the second half to open a 40-28 lead and the Aztecs dominated the rest of the way at empty Viejas Arena. Aguek Arop and Terrell Gomez scored 10 points each for SDSU, which was 30-2 last season and expecting its highest seed ever in the NCAA Tournament before it as canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mitchell and Schakel each hit three 3-pointers, and the Aztecs, picked to repeat as Mountain West Conference regular-season champions, went 9 of 23 from behind the arc.

UCLA, which played on SDSU’s home court for the first time since 1991, was without key players Jalen Hill and transfer Johnny Juzang. Chris Smith, the Bruins’ only senior, committed his fourth foul midway through the second half and came out — and then fouled out with 4:47 to go. He scored 10 points, none in the second half.

Jaime Jacquez Jr. scored 17 points for UCLA, and Cody Riley had 14 points and 12 rebounds.

The game was part of a multi-team event that also includes Pepperdine and UC Irvine. UCLA and SDSU had been scheduled to play in a bubble in Florida, but it fell apart. Coaches Brian Dutcher of SDSU and Mick Cronin of UCLA, longtime friends, quickly put together this event.

The Bruins, who went 19-12 last year and were picked to win the Pac-12 this season, played well for the first eight minutes before SDSU’s defense began to take its toll.

Mitchell hit a jumper to start an 8-0 run midway through the first half that gave the Aztecs a 23-19 lead. Joshua Tomiac made a jumper and fellow senior transfer Gomez hit two free throws before Nathan Mensah sank a baseline jumper.

UCLA ended a six-minute drought when Smith made a one-handed jumper.

Jacquez made a layup to pull the Bruins to 30-28 and was fouled, but missed the free throw. Arop hit a layup and two free throws in the final minute for a 34-28 halftime lead.

BIG PICTURE

UCLA: Hill, a 6-10 swingman, has right knee tendinitis and is day-to-day. Juzang, a transfer from Kentucky, has a stress reaction in his right foot and isn’t expected to play this week.

San Diego State: The Aztecs used their trademark tough defense during the first half to force UCLA into 10 turnovers and a scoring drought that allowed SDSU to take the lead.

UP NEXT

UCLA plays Pepperdine on Friday. UCLA has won the last five meetings for a 19-4 series lead.

SDSU faces UC Irvine on Friday for the first time since 1997. The Aztecs have won three straight in the series.

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