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No Contest Again: USD Controls Early, Routs SDSU, 76-53

December 20, 1987|MARC APPLEMAN | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — So much for a rivalry. These games have become routs.

The University of San Diego defeated San Diego State by 16 and 17 points the past two years. And those games were close compared to USD's 76-53 rout of the Aztecs in front of 2,725 fans at the San Diego Sports Arena Saturday night.

"No doubt we're the better team between the two since we beat them by so much," said USD senior forward Marty Munn, who came off the bench to score 15 points.

SDSU Coach Jim Brandenburg said, "They came after us and handed us our lunch. . . . We didn't execute. We didn't play defense well. We broke down in a lack of discipline, didn't have the toughness, didn't have the rebounding."

That just about sums it up.

USD led, 41-26, at halftime. The Toreros outscored SDSU, 14-3, in the first 4 minutes, 23 seconds of the second half, and after that, the the margin was never less than 18.

"We played against a bunch of angry Toreros," Brandenburg said. "I really don't think we came ready to play. I'll take responsibility for not getting them ready to play."

USD (3-3) outshot the Aztecs (3-4) by 52%-34%, outrebounded them, 42-19, and had a 17-9 advantage in assists.

The Toreros took control when they outscored the Aztecs, 19-2, during a stretch of 8:36 in the first half to turn a 15-14 deficit into a 33-17 lead with 3:17 to play.

During USD's barrage, Munn had eight points, including two consecutive three-point jumpers.

SDSU made only 1 of 15 shots during the USD stretch. Their lone points came on a field goal by Mitch McMullen.

"It kind of busted early," USD Coach Hank Egan said. "We got control, and we could control the tempo of the game."

The second half started the way the first ended--with USD in control. The Toreros hit their first four field-goal attempts and the Aztecs didn't get off their first official field goal attempt until 3:20 had elapsed.

USD finished with four players in double figures, while guard Bryan Williams scored 13 and Tony Ross had 11 for the Aztecs.

Pelton had a career-high 20 points and 7 rebounds in his second start of the season. Actually, Pelton had a career-high 12 points in the first half alone. Pelton outscored McMullen, 20-9, and outrebounded him, 7-0. That's right, McMullen had zero rebounds in 24 minutes.

Efrem Leonard, a junior-college transfer from Mt. San Antonio in Pomona, had a career-high 15 points in his first college start. Munn had 15, and Danny Means added 11.

Egan said he started Pelton and Leonard because they played well in practice this week and he is still undecided on a set starting lineup.

The action on the court was often calm compared to the nonstop working of the officials by Egan and Brandenburg.

Brandenburg was screaming at the officials from the start, which prompted Egan to yell out, "Who's calling this game? Why don't you give him a whistle?"

USD made 18 of 21 free throws, while SDSU made 21 of 32 free throws.

Egan is now 3-1 against SDSU. He also picked up his first on-court victory over a Brandenburg-coached team.

Brandenburg, who previously coached at Montana and Wyoming, held a 9-1 edge over Egan, who was at Air Force before coming to USD. But that lone victory came when Montana beat Air Force, 65-59, in the 1976-77 season but then forfeited for using an ineligible player. At Wyoming, Brandenburg was 9-0 against Egan.

"I have mixed emotions," Egan said. "I don't mean that to be ridiculous. I have a lot of respect for Jim. You like to play your friends, but you don't like to play your friends."

Pause.

"I've struggled against him so long, " Egan said, "I'm glad for the win."

With about five minutes to play in Saturday's game, the public address announcer gave the Wyoming score: Wyoming 87, Nebraska 58.

That's the nationally ranked Wyoming team that Brandenburg left after last season. The Aztecs were trailing USD by 20 points at the time.

"I think our inexperience in what we're trying to accomplish really showed," Brandenburg said. "We need to go back to the drawing board."

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