SAN DIEGO — With just a few three-point baskets, 25th-ranked San Diego State was well on its way to dominating Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday night.
SDSU knocked down four threes during a 21-2 spurt in the second half and kept up momentum for the rest of the game in a 79-43 victory at Viejas Arena. Four players led the Aztecs (3-1) in scoring, with Chase Tapley and Jamaal Franklin leading the way with 15 points apiece.
UAPB (1-3) got a pair of double-doubles with Davon Haynes’ 17 points and 10 rebounds and Mitchell Anderson’s 10 points and 11 boards. But an 0-for-11 three-point shooting performance and 18-of-54 shooting for 33 percent doomed the Golden Lions against the Aztecs, last season’s Mountain West Conference runners-up.
Franklin added 12 rebounds and four assists to his evening, while Deshawn Stephens contributed 11 points and 10 assists for the Aztecs. Reserve Skylar Spencer added 12 points.
Anderson came off the bench as well, trying to break out of a scoring slump with a 6-point per game average before Wednesday. He was the Lions’ leading returning scorer coming into the season.
It was a slow start to the game for both teams. UAPB fell behind 6-0 after the first 6 minutes but charged back to tie it at 6 at the 11:50 mark of the first half. SDSU then scored nine unanswered before an Anderson dunk and Jaylon Floyd layup pulled UAPB back within 15-10.
The Lions would get no closer. The Aztecs took a 36-14 lead into halftime and expanded it to 65-31 with 8:20 left in the game.
UAPB was saddled with 15 turnovers while SDSU limited itself to seven. SDSU had a 41-35 rebounding edge.
The free-throw woes continued for the Lions, as they hit only 7 of 17 for 41 percent. The Aztecs weren’t hot either at the line (14-of-25, 56 percent), but they knocked down 11 of 27 threes (40 percent) as part of a 27-of-65 field goal night (41 percent).
Lazabian Jackson had six points and Terrell Kennedy added four for UAPB, which played without center Daniel Broughton for the fourth straight game as he works back into game shape following an operation on his injured knee.
UAPB will play at Washington State at 8:30 p.m. Central Saturday. Washington State (2-3) has dropped three straight, losing 55-54 to Texas A&M on Tuesday in Kansas City, Mo.