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January 12, 2013
Tapley explodes in OT to lead SDSU over Colorado State
Chase Tapley showed up for the shootaround five hours before Saturday night's game with a temperature of 101 and a sore throat.SAN DIEGO -- San Diego State guard
Sitting out against Colorado State wasn't an option because his parents had driven down from Sacramento.
Tapley was sent home to rest and then got an IV before the game.
"I just wanted to gut it out," Tapley said.
Some two hours later, he found the energy to score 12 of his 19 points in overtime, including two 3-pointers and a layup off a steal, to lead No. 16 San Diego State to a 79-72 victory.
"He did not participate in the shootaround, but he told me when he left, 'I'm playing,' and he played," coach Steve Fisher said. "And he played the way Chase has played a lot of times for us. He played big when big plays were needed."
After SDSU staggered through the last 7 1/2 minutes of regulation, Tapley re-energized the Aztecs (14-2, 2-0 Mountain West) in overtime.
After Colton Iverson made two free throws for a 65-63 lead 57 seconds into overtime, Tapley made a jumper for the Aztecs' first field goal since 7:43 left in regulation. He then hit a 3-pointer for a 68-65 lead with 3:14 left.
CSU's Wes Eikmeier made a 3-pointer to tie it before the Aztecs regained the lead on J.J. O'Brien's tip-in.
Tapley then stole the ball went coast-to-coast for a layup and then made another 3-pointer for a 75-68 lead with 1:18 left.
"Right now I'm just tired," Tapley said. "Overtime, just had to get the most energy. If you have teammates like I do pushing you, saying, `We need buckets.' I mean, I was there. I just had to put the ball in the basket. Thank God they were falling in overtime."
Jamaal Franklin had 23 points, including five 3-pointers, and Xavier Thames 14 for SDSU.
Thames returned after missing a three-point win at Fresno State in the conference opener Wednesday night.
"It takes heart for Chase and Xavier both to do that," Franklin said. "I know how it feels playing with a back. I mean, your back controls everything in your body. So it takes heart. For my teammates, my brothers, for them to be able to play in the conditions they were in, I'm proud of them. That shows a lot. It shows you how everybody cares for one another and everybody just wants to win, for you to risk your body and your health just to go out and play for your teammates."
Eikmeier had 22 points for CSU (13-3, 0-1), which had its seven-game winning streak snapped. Iverson had 18 points and 11 rebounds and Daniel Bejarano had 13 points and 11 boards.
The Rams trailed by 18 at halftime and by 13 with less than eight minutes left.
"We have to change the culture here at Colorado State," coach Larry Eustachy said. "I'm not sure if the players expected to come out here and win or not. Not being able to finish out the game is not how we are going to be. We're used to it. This is what we've accepted and it's no longer acceptable. It starts with me and obviously, I haven't been able to get the team quite over the hump."
Said Eikmeier: "At the end of the day, it's still a loss. If you lose by one or lose by two, it wouldn't matter."
San Diego State led 59-46 after Tapley's jumper with 7:43 left. That was the Aztecs' last field goal in regulation.
Eikmeier made a layup with 6:42 left to start a 17-4 run that allowed the Rams to force overtime. He had nine points in the run, including a 3-pointer that pulled the Rams to 59-56 with 4:06 left.
Thames made two free throws for the Aztecs before Iverson made one of two for the Rams. Bejarano rebounded the miss and made a layup to make it 61-59.
Eikmeier made a long jumper to tie it at 61 with 1:38 to go and Thames made one of two free throws for a 62-61 lead. Iverson came up with a rebound but Eikmeier was whistled for traveling with 30.3 seconds left.
Franklin inbounded the ball off a Rams player and James Rahon was fouled by Dorian Green, making the first but missing the second. Green rebounded for the Rams and Iverson scored off a rebound to tie it at 63.
Franklin missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
San Diego State's first nine baskets were 3-pointers and the Aztecs made 10 of 18 3-pointers in the first half. The Aztecs' first two-pointer didn't come until 3:47 left in the first half, when O'Brien made a jumper, was fouled and converted the three-point play for a 37-23 lead. That was part of a 9-0 run that carried the Aztecs to a 41-23 halftime lead.
Franklin was coming off a big game in the conference-opening win at Fresno State on Wednesday night, when he had 20 points, a career-high 18 rebounds and a highlight reel play when he threw the ball off the backboard during a fast break, caught it in midair and dunked between two Bulldogs defenders.
Of SDSU's opening salvo of eight 3-pointers, Franklin had four, Thames three and Winston Shepard and Rahon one apiece.
Tapley made SDSU's 10th 3-pointer of the half to begin the half-ending 9-0 run. That run ended when Franklin had a slam dunk off a nice bounce pass from Thames.
The Rams went on a 17-4 run to open the second half and pull to 45-40. Greg Smith and Pierce Hornung each made a 3-pointer and Eikmeier had five points, including a three-point play.
SDSU scored the next seven points to run its lead to 52-40.