Page last updated on Sun Mar 29 00:26:37 EDT 2015
01/10/2013 2:53 AM EST
Franklin helps No. 16 San Diego St beat Fresno St

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) -- San Diego State coach Steve Fisher warned
his players that Mountain West Conference games would be more
intense than anything they experienced during nonleague play.

If the No. 16 Aztecs weren't listening, they are now.

Jamaal Franklin scored 20 points, including a highlight reel
dunk, and had a career-high 18 rebounds to help San Diego State
edge Fresno State 65-62 on Wednesday night in the MWC opener for
both teams.

"Even though we didn't win by as much as we want to win for us
to come into a hostile place without our starting point guard
and still come out with a win, you've got to be proud of that,"
said Frankin, the conference preseason MVP.

Franklin had the play of the night when he threw the ball off
the backboard during a fast break, caught it in midair and
dunked between two Bulldogs defenders.

"That was just me being myself. A lot of players won't do that,
but I'm real thankful my teammates have confidence in me,"
Franklin said.

Fresno State trailed by 10 in the second half before rallying to
take a 62-61 lead with 2:45 left. The Aztecs (13-2, 1-0) hit two
free throws to go back on top and then Franklin made two more
with 18.1 seconds left to seal the win.

"I told our team that when you move from nonconference to
conference play, the level of energy, preparation and scouting
is exponentially raised," Fisher said. "Every game has the
potential to be like this."

Kevin Foster scored 18 points and Kevin Olekaibe added 15 for
Fresno State (6-8, 0-1), which has lost five straight to
Division I opponents.

Trailing 47-37 with 13:14 left, Fresno State came back behind
Olekaibe. His 3-pointer from the corner with 5:36 left cut the
deficit to 58-56. He then made another 3 with 2:45 left to put
the Bulldogs ahead, their first lead since midway through the
first half.

After Franklin's two free throws, Marvelle Harris' potential
tying 3-pointer glanced off the rim as the final buzzer sounded.

"I thought we did a really good job not letting them get a clean
look," Fisher said. "The shot they took was hotly contested."

The Aztecs were without point guard Xavier Thames, who missed
the game with a strained lower back. Winston Shepard, a highly
recruited 6-foot-8 freshman from Houston, started in Thames'
place and finished with seven assists and seven rebounds.

Shephard's seven assists were a season high for San Diego State.
James Rahon added 16 points for the Aztecs, including three
closely guarded second-half 3 pointers. San Diego State won its
32nd straight against teams from California, the longest active
streak in Division I.

It was the first meeting between San Diego State and Fresno
State as conference members since 1999, when both were in the
Western Athletic


"I was really proud of the effort we had tonight," Bulldogs
coach Rodney Terry said. "I wanted to see our guys go out and
compete and have each others' backs and be great teammates and
leave it all out there on the floor."

San Diego State led 33-26 at halftime, closing the first half
with a 9-3 run.

At 13-2, the Aztecs are off to the second-best start in school
history with both losses coming against top 10 teams. They
opened 20-0 in 2010-11.

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