SAN DIEGO (AP) — Malachi Flynn scored 16 points and Matt Mitchell had 15 for No. 13 San Diego State, which beat Fresno State 61-52 Wednesday to remain one of two undefeated teams nationally.
Mitchell had three big baskets in the second half in his first start of the season and Flynn, a transfer guard, scored his 1,000th career point as SDSU (14-0, 3-0 Mountain West) remains on its hottest start in nine seasons. The Aztecs haven't been this good since 2010-11, when they opened 20-0 behind Kawhi Leonard and reached the Sweet 16 for the first time before finishing 34-3.
SDSU and Auburn remain the nation’s only undefeated teams. The Aztecs snapped a five-game losing streak to the Bulldogs, who had won their last three games at Viejas Arena.
Jarred Hyder scored 23 for Fresno State (4-10, 0-3), which was without leading scorer Nate Grimes, out with a wrist injury.
Mitchell, starting in place of sophomore forward Nathan Menshah (respiratory ailment) hit a long jumper just inside of nine minutes to go and then drained a 3-pointer for a 46-36 lead.
Earlier in the half, Mitchell had a nice spin-move layup followed by a free throw, and then Flynn made a pretty left-handed layup gave SDSU a 33-23 lead.
Joel Mensah had consecutive baskets to help give SDSU a cushion after the Bulldogs had pulled within five points with 13 minutes to play.
Flynn and KJ Feagin scored four points apiece during a 10-0 run at the end of the first half that gave the Aztecs a 25-17 lead after they struggled earlier against the Bulldogs.
Flynn started the run with a 3-pointer with 5:14 to go and added a free throw after a technical foul against Mustafa Lawrence. Flynn fed Feagin for a baseline reverse layup, Feagin hit a jumper and Trey Pulliam made a runner.
Fresno State had taken an early lead after 3-pointers by Hyder and New Williams,
Flynn, a transfer from Washington State, scored his 1,000 career point on a layup with 12:22 to go.
Fresno State: The Bulldogs had beaten SDSU five straight times in the regular season, including three straight at Viejas Arena. Second-year coach Justin Hustson, a former assistant at SDSU, had been 2-0 against his former team.
San Diego State: Nathan Mensah missed his first start with a respiratory ailment, forcing coach Brian Dutcher to change his starting lineup for the first time this season. Mitchell, a junior forward, made his first start of the season. Mitchell was a starter his first two seasons but had offseason knee surgery and has been the sixth man.
Fresno State hosts San Jose State on Saturday night.
San Diego State plays at Utah State, which had been ranked earlier this season, on Saturday night.