SAN DIEGO (AP) Freshman Matt Mitchell scored 26 of his season-high 31 points in the second half, and Malik Pope had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead San Diego State to a 94-63 victory against Eastern Illinois on Monday night.
Mitchell, a 6-foot-6 forward who was making his third start, went off after halftime, including hitting six 3-pointers. He finished with seven 3-pointers and made 10 of 14 shots overall.
He got a standing ovation when he went to the bench with four minutes to play. His 31 points were a season-high for an SDSU player.
While Mitchell came on strong after halftime, Pope was dominant from the start, making three shots in the first three minutes to help SDSU (3-1) take an 11-3 lead en route to another overwhelming victory. Pope had 16 points and nine rebounds in an 83-52 victory against McNeese State on Friday night.
The Aztecs, under first-year head coach Brian Dutcher, once again played tight defense and raced to a 40-25 halftime lead before pulling away in the second half.
SDSU made 13 of 25 from 3-point range.
Trey Kell finished with 14 points and Devin Watson, a junior transfer from San Francisco, had 10.
Jajuan Starks scored 17 for the Panthers (1-3) while Montell Goodwin had 14 and Michael Chavers 11.
Eastern Illinois: The Panthers were facing the Aztecs for the first time in basketball. However, the Panthers are 1-1 against SDSU in football, including a 40-19 win in 2013 with Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback.
San Diego St.: The Aztecs won their second straight game following an ugly loss at Arizona State last week. They get two days off before heading up the freeway for the eight-team Wooden Legacy, which also includes No. 21 Saint Mary's, Washington State and Georgia.
Eastern Illinois: Hosts Fontbonne University on Friday night.
San Diego St.: The Aztecs face Sacramento State on Thursday night in the opening round of the Wooden Legacy at Cal State Fullerton.
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