The San Diego State Aztecs (18-5, 8-2 MW) had a late scare by the Nevada Wolfpack (6-17. 2-7 MW) as they won by a narrow margin of 65-63. This game on paper should have been an easy win for the Aztecs but the Wolf Pack didn’t lay down and roll over. They went toe to toe with the Aztecs and kept them on their heels for the entire game.
Most of the damage was done by Nevada freshman guard Eric Cooper Jr. who recorded team-high 17 points and junior forward AJ West who also added 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Luckily, for the Aztecs they were able to fend off the Wolfpack thanks to senior forward JJ O’Brien who had a stellar performance dropping a season-high 18 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
The most crucial play in the game was with :51 left, O’Brien made a tough jumper and was able to convert the plus one to complete the three-point play. That allowed the Aztecs to come away with the win and to keep pace with Wyoming atop the Mountain West Conference.
Outside of that play O’Brien has been a solid contributor all season. He may be arguably the most consistent player on the team. He doesn’t have many flashy plays but is very stable and rely more on fundamentals than athleticism. Another great quality of O’Brien is he has a pass first mentality and will only attempt a field goal when it is ideal.
In fact, Wednesday night marked only the sixth time all season that he shot 10 or more times in a single game.
JJ O’Brien is getting hot as of late and should continue to be a reliable tertiary scorer for the Aztecs. If the they can find a reliable secondary scorer the Aztecs will be a force to be reckoned with come March.
Photo Credit: Lance Iversen/ USA Today
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