#22 San Diego State looking for more road success in Nevada

San Diego State returned Monday as the No. 22 team in the Associated Press’s top-25 poll after winning 10 of its last 11 games while sitting first in the Mountain West Conference.

The visiting Aztecs will try to show they meet Nevada on Tuesday night in Reno, Nevada.

The Aztecs (17-4, 8-1 Mountain West) held a top-25 ranking just once in the last seven weeks after ranked early in the season for the first five weeks of the season. San Diego state climbed to 17th for two weeks in November.

While Nevada isn’t ranked, the Wolf Pack (16-6, 6-3) revived the anticipation for Tuesday’s game after an upset by then-No. 25 New Mexico 97-94 in double overtime last week put the Lobos out threw the polls.

The Aztecs are 5-0 in real road games, including a win at Stanford on Nov. 15 and away victories over opponents Mountain West, UNLV, Wyoming, Colorado State and Air Force.

San Diego State improved to 11-1 at home on Saturday with a 72-51 win over San Jose State.

“Another good home win,” said San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher. “We play together more. I think it was a really solid performance.”

The Aztecs held the Spartans off the field in a 0-of-14 shooting for the last 10 minutes of the first half. They ended the half on a 23-5 run and took a 33-14 lead. San Diego State opened the second half with another run, topping the Spartans 13-5 from the opening 4-14 to take a 46-19 lead.

Keshad Johnson had 16 points and eight rebounds, having had double-doubles in wins against Utah State (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Air Force (13 points, 10 rebounds) in the previous two games.

“He’s on a different level right now,” Dutcher said of Johnson. “If we had let him in, he might have had ten rebounds (against San Jose State). … Keshad is playing at a different level and that’s why we’re better.”

Nevada is looking for consistency. The Wolf Pack have alternated wins and losses in their last six games.

After the upset of New Mexico, they suffered a 68-62 loss at UNLV on Saturday. Nevada, averaging 10.5 turnovers, had 19 against the Rebels. UNLV scored 18 points from those sales.

The Wolf Pack made 41.2 percent (7 of 17) of their shots from 3-point range, but they were 34.2 percent (13 of 38) inside the arc.

San Diego State goes ahead of Nevada for the season after beating the Wolf Pack 74-65 at home on Jan. 10.

The Aztecs forced Nevada to only eight turnovers in that game, but scored 14 points less in the transition.

“Our guys have to deal with playing at a high tempo,” said Nevada coach Steve Alford. “We were brutal in the transition game (game one) against San Diego State. We can’t afford that.”

Kenan Blackshear scored 14 points in Nevada’s loss at UNLV. He also had six assists, five rebounds and two steals. Blackshear surpassed the 100-assist mark for the season in the loss.