San Diego State Aztecs senior forward Winston Shepard was just two rebounds away from earning the very first triple-double in SDSU history, and then one.

Winston Shepard Gets SDSU’s First Triple-Double In 79-55 NIT Win

The coaches told him how close he was, and both his teammates and the SDSU student section also joined in on the excitement. The latter even started a countdown, chanting “Two more rebounds!” and then, “One more rebound!”

After Ben Perez missed a three-pointer, Shepard grabbed the rebound with just 48 seconds left to play to secure SDSU’s first-ever triple-double in the Aztecs’ 79-55 home win over the IPFW Mastodons in the first round of the NIT on Tuesday.

“I wanted to get it but I didn’t want to get it in a selfish-looking manner. I just tried to make the right play,” said Shepard, who logged 10 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists.


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Shepard also said he believes he could get another triple-double. SDSU (26-9) will next host the Washington Huskies on Monday night. The Huskies (19-14) defeated the Long Beach State 49ers 107-102 on Tuesday.

“When I came here I really believed that I could do it,” the senior forward said. “I have the ability to do that, affect the game in multiple facets. To be honest, this isn’t possible if my teammates don’t make shots and even more so if coach Fisher doesn’t leave me in for the whole second half.”

Shepard played 36 minutes in total. “This game is not about stats,” SDSU coach Steve Fisher said. “It’s about winning. But that’s a special achievement that doesn’t happen often anywhere. It’s never happened here. When it presents itself in this fashion, let’s at least give him a chance by letting him play. I don’t know why it hasn’t happened. Probably because it’s hard to do.”

Malik Pope added 15 points for the Aztecs, who played a strong game despite coming off a 68-63 loss to Fresno State in the championship game of the Mountain West Conference Tournament that knocked them out of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years.

Pope put up a 3-pointer on the game’s second possession and the Aztecs pulled out to a 19-9 lead, with Pope scoring another jumper and Matt Shrigley making a 3. SDSU maintained their double-digit lead of 40-22 at halftime.

Pope also opened up the second half strong with a three-pointer.

Dakarai Allen also scored 10 points for the Aztecs, while Joe Reed and Max Landis scored 13 and 11 respectively for the Mastodons (24-10), who were making their NIT debut.

LAS VEGAS, NV – MARCH 11: Winston Shepard #13 of the San Diego State Aztecs goes to the hoop against the Nevada Wolf Pack during a semifinal game of the Mountain West Conference basketball tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center on March 11, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

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