Breakdown: Fresno State at San Diego State

Kevin Olekaibe averaging 19.5 pts in last 2 games

Fresno State is fresh off its upset over UNLV and hit the road to face No. 25 San Diego State, whom the Bulldogs nearly upset at the Save Mart Center one month ago. Check inside for the breakdown…

Fresno State 8-13 (2-6) at No. 25 San Diego State 17-5 (5-3)

PG: Aaron Anderson (6-3, 190, Fr.) vs. Xavier Thames (6-3, 190, Jr.)

Xavier Thames will try to play Saturday after dealing with a back injury. The junior point guard sat out of the two teams' previous meeting earlier this season, and has missed three more conference games since. Aaron Anderson's contributions have been minimal as Allen Huddleston has scored in double digits in four consecutive games off the bench.

Advantage: San Diego State

SG: Kevin Olekaibe (6-2, 180, Jr.) vs. Chase Tapley (6-5, 195, Sr.)

Is Kevin Olekaibe back to becoming a scoring threat? After struggling for most of the season, Olekaibe comes off his two best games of the season, averaging 19.5 points and shooting a combined 10-of-17 from three-point range. Chase Tapley had just four points against the Bulldogs in January, but the shooter has topped the 16-point mark three times since.

Advantage: Fresno State

SF: Tyler Johnson (6-2, 180, Jr.) vs. Jamaal Franklin (6-5, 205, Jr.)

Jamaal Franklin threw an unforgettable self-alley-oop in the Save Mart Center that only highlighted his 20-point, 18-rebound game. The do-it-all wing has not cooled off averaging a Mountain West best 18.3 points per game in conference play and a second-best 8.5 rebounds per game in conference play. The Bulldogs' primary scorer Tyler Johnson played just five minutes against SDSU before an ankle injury sidelined him in the three-point loss.

Advantage: San Diego State

PF: Kevin Foster (6-8, 230, Sr.) vs. JJ O'Brien (6-7, 225, So.)

Kevin Foster had his best conference game against San Diego State scoring 17 points and grabbing eight rebounds while holding JJ O'Brien to just two points and two rebounds. O'Brien has since stepped up his post presence, averaging 11 points and 6.5 rebounds in his last four games.

Advantage: Fresno State

C: Jerry Brown (6-7, 220, Jr.) vs. Deshawn Stephens (6-8, 225, Sr.)

The Bulldogs had a hard time containing Deshawn Stephens in the previous matchup as the center was wide open for several dunks in the half court offense. Jerry Brown has made just one field goal in his last three games while averaging fewer than four rebounds in the span.

Advantage: San Diego State


Fresno State's Allen Huddleston has averaged 14.3 points off the bench in his last four games. Fresno State will be without suspended center Robert Upshaw, but will have power forward Braeden Anderson for his second game. If Xavier Thames can play, it should push the Aztecs' rotation to eight players with guard James Rahon coming off the bench.

Advantage: Fresno State

Coaches: Rodney Terry vs. Steve Fisher

Steve Fisher has turned the Aztecs into a national competitor in his 14 seasons. He currently has the Aztecs at 17-5 and 5-3 halfway through conference play. Fresno State's Rodney Terry continues a rebuilding project at Fresno State, but nearly knocked off Fisher's Aztecs a month ago.

Advantage: San Diego State


The Bulldogs are coming off their best win. Their confidence should be at its peak as they face a San Diego State team that they lost to by just three points earlier in the season. The Aztecs come off a thrilling one-point home win over Boise State and "The Show" will again create a hostile environment for the Bulldogs.

Advantage: San Diego State

Final Analysis/Prediction:

Saturday's game shapes up to be the Bulldogs' biggest challenge since traveling to New Mexico. Fresno State lost that game by 27 points; however, a healthy Tyler Johnson and an available Kevin Foster and Braeden Anderson should make the Bulldogs a more competitive opponent. San Diego State pulls away in the second half.

PREDICTION: San Diego State 67, Fresno State 59

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