Feb. 8, 2011
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The way No. 6 San Diego State blitzed Utah early, the only thing in doubt was whether the crowd was going to get curly fries.
It didn't, the only bummer on a night when SDSU raced past the hapless Utes 85-53 on Tuesday night behind 15 points apiece from D.J. Gay and Billy White, and another double-double by Kawhi Leonard. Gay helped key a 21-3 run that propelled SDSU to a 48-21 halftime lead.
The Aztecs (24-1, 9-1 Mountain West) won their fourth straight game since their only loss, 71-58 at BYU on Jan. 26.
If SDSU holds opponents under 50 points, fans get curly fries from a fast-food chain.
"I remember a timeout with seven minutes left, and I said, 'They can't score seven points in seven minutes. We've got to get them these fries,'" said big man Brian Carlwell, who had 10 points and played to the crowd several times. "It's been games where teams have had 53 and I go home and some of my boys call me and they're just mad. I told them, 'We tried our best.'"
The Aztecs had their 10th sellout of 12,414 at Viejas Arena and set the school season attendance record at 137,785 after just 12 games. The old record was 126,420 in 18 games in 2008-09. SDSU has three home games left, which have been sold out for more than a month. Among them is a showdown against No. 7 BYU on Feb. 26.
"I probably should buy curly fries myself for all those students who were here," coach Steve Fisher said. "They have been so good for us. Either that or they should give them to them anyway. That might be even better."
Leonard, a sophomore forward, had 12 points and 14 rebounds for his 17th double-double of the season and 34th of his career. Freshman reserve guard Jamaal Franklin had his first double-double, with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
"I think they are a Final Four team," Utah coach Jim Boylen said. "I thought they were awesome. You have to give them credit. They punched us in the mouth to start the game and we didn't respond."
Will Clyburn, the second-leading scorer in the conference at 18.3 points per game, had 18 for Utah (10-14, 3-7).
Gay, a senior guard, played in his 128th consecutive game, the most in school history. He came up big in the 21-3 run, which spanned 4 minutes and helped SDSU go from a 7-6 lead to a 28-9 advantage with 11:32 left before halftime.
Gay had a steal and a layup, and another steal and a pass to Carlwell for a fastbreak layup. Gay made a pretty left-handed reverse layup, and then hit a 3-point shot. Carlwell had six points during the run, nearly twice his average.
San Diego State made 9 of 11 shots during the run.
Utah's only points during that span came on a layup by Clyburn and a free throw by Josh Watkins.
"I was just so happy, because we came out with so much energy," Carlwell said. "We got the fans more into it. Coach always tells us before the game, 'You know the student section is going to cheer but let's get these old people out of their seats. Let's get them cheering.'"
"If we go out and we put the pressure on people, especially here in this environment, a lot of people get down," Carlwell said. "They get down on themselves, they get down on each other. We want to try to make people quit. So we just get out there and we just run. We were able to do that today and we had a lot of success doing it."
"We looked a little scared, to be honest," Boylen said. "We got off to such a bad start, and then guys got tentative and a little reluctant. I thought we reacted to the crowd and struggled."
SDSU guard Chase Tapley missed the game after spraining his left ankle in a 60-53 win over TCU on Saturday night. Reserve forward Tim Shelton also sat out with an injured right foot.
The Aztecs had a season-high 50 rebounds to Utah's 36. SDSU tied its season-low with only four turnovers while Utah had 15.
This is the first time the Aztecs have beaten the Utes four straight times.