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12/23/2012 8:45 PM EST
No. 18 San Diego State beats Indiana State 62-55
SAN DIEGO ST 62, INDIANA ST 55

By OSKAR GARCIA
Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) -- Chase Tapley thinks Indiana State gave No. 18
San Diego State its toughest test of the season.



Now he hopes it pushes the Aztecs forward as they look toward
Mountain West play and a possible NCAA Tournament berth.



"We need games like that for later on," said Tapley, who scored
13 points as the Aztecs (11-1) beat Indiana State 62-55 despite
poor free throw and 3-point shooting. "It gives us good
experience."



Jamaal Franklin had 19 points and 15 rebounds to lead San Diego
State to the finals of the Diamond Head Classic tournament on
Tuesday.



San Diego State pulled ahead for good during a seven-point run
that included five straight points from Tapley. With less than
five minutes to play, Tapley drove to the basket and was stopped
by Jake Odum, who was called for a flagrant foul. Tapley made
two free throws, and a quick 3-pointer on the ensuing
possession, giving the Aztecs a 51-44 lead.



The Sycamores (6-4) got no closer than three points after that.



"Every trip down the floor seemed like a big possession," San
Diego State coach Steve Fisher said. "Both teams came up empty
at times."



Franklin was one rebound shy of his career high, set last season
against Colorado State. Xavier Thames had 12 points.



RJ Mahurin had 15 points, and Manny Arop added 13 for Indiana
State.



"We knew it was going to be tough, and coming in we'd have to
grind and grind and grind on them," Mahurin said.



Neither team established a clear advantage beyond a few key runs
until San Diego State gained control late.



The Aztecs went on a 9-1 run midway through the first half to
take a 20-13 lead with just under eight minutes left, capped by
a three-pointer by Tapley. But the Sycamores pulled to within
28-25 at halftime.



Mahurin hit a 3-pointer from the right wing three minutes into
the second half to give Indiana State a 32-31 lead.



The game had five ties and six lead changes.



"They made us guard for 35 seconds and make baskets as the shot
clock was going out," Fisher said. "The shots that were falling
like raindrops (Saturday) weren't going in."



After the game, Indiana State coach Greg Lansing was visibly
upset as he looked at the box score while waiting for an
interview with his team's radio broadcasters. He expressed
disappointment with the Sycamores' seven assists compared with
17 turnovers.



San Diego State shot less than 24 percent (4 of 17) from 3-point
range, and 64 percent (18 of 28) from the free throw line.



"We regained our composure, took a deep breath and allowed
defense to create some offense and make free throws down the
stretch after missing so many early on," Fisher said. "It wasn't
the prettiest of games, but hard fought by both teams."



---



Oskar Garcia can be reached on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/oskargarcia .

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