San Diego State succeeded this time in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic championship game, defeating San Francisco 62-48 tonight at the Stan Sheriff Center.
The Aztecs won three times in four days to make good on their return to the islands four years after coming up just short in the 2012 DHC final.
Forward Zylan Cheatham posted a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double en route to tournament MVP honors.
SDSU set a new tournament record with 29 triples. They went 9-for-27 from deep on Sunday (6-for-14 in the second half) helping make up for the absence of talented big man Malik Pope (knee).
USF (10-3) also tied the previous record of 28 tournament 3-pointers. Sixteen of those came in the first day against Utah; they only hit four against SDSU in 20 attempts and were held without a field goal for the final five minutes. USF of the West Coast Conference is coached by Kyle Smith, who was a two-time finalist candidate for the Hawaii basketball head job.
SDSU beat USF in the first round of the 2012 field, but lost to Arizona 68-67 in the final when Chase Tapley’s layup was blocked by Nick Johnson at the buzzer.