San Diego State’s Aqeel Quinn was tip-toeing around something and it wasn’t the 3-point line.
Enter teammate Winston Shepard.
“We got whupped,” he said.
The focus is on Saturday’s game against visiting Colorado State. But it arrives with the scars of the Aztecs’ fumble at Fort Collins: Colorado State 79, SDSU 73.
“We didn’t play well,” Shepard added. “We didn’t guard the 3-point line like we did in practice. (But) we’ll be OK tomorrow and we’re looking forward to it.”
Fast forward to March and what that brings.
For first-place SDSU (19-6, 9-3) another Mountain West title guarantees an NCAA Tournament bid.
But Colorado State (21-4, 8-4) comes with a motion offense, a versatile squad and painful memories.
The Aztecs fell behind by 17 in the earlier matchup, nearly clawed back before exiting as if scratched in the eyes.
“I think every loss you have you take it personally,” SDSU coach Steve Fisher said. “And you should. Fortunately for us we haven’t had too many of those to reflect back on.”
Any look at Colorado State shows them hitting 12 of 22 shots behind the arch in its win over SDSU.
“They made some hard shots,” Fisher said. “But some could have been more closely contested.”
It’s usually cozy when the Aztecs and Rams meet. Of their last seven games, the outcome was 10 points-or-less.
“I’m glad we got them at our place even though that doesn’t guaranteed success,” Fisher said.
Although a Valentine’s Day win makes it 22 against MW rivals and that means never having to say your sorry.
That the Rams are here for some tough love, so be it.
“We have been looking forward to this ever since that clock hit zero,” Quinn said of losing at Colorado State.
Aztecs are really looking toward March. A victory on Saturday gets them closer.
+ Contact Jay Paris at jparisbcaradio.com