Great teams have a way of quietly pulling away and then coasting to victory over bad teams.

That was the case on Tuesday night in southern California, as No. 22 San Diego State pushed their lead to 15 at halftime and then cruised to a 19-point win over Colorado State.

Things started out fine for the Rams, who at least had 10 healthy bodies, as they kept the game within single digits for the first 10 minutes. But a turnover turned into a pull-up jumper by Micah Parrish to give the Aztecs a 10-point advantage.

Senior John Tonje tried to keep CSU in the contest, scoring eight of his 17 points in the first half, but Jaedon LeDee of SDSU scored 10 of his own as the home team ballooned their lead to 15 at the break. That lead was certainly helped by the Rams 10 turnovers in the period, which tanked their chances of hanging in the contest.

Four minutes into the second half and Matt Bradley’s 3-pointer pushed San Diego State’s lead to 20. It was as much as 25 with 8:45 left in the game, and at that point, it was all but over for the Rams who eventually lost 77-58.

Tonje led all scorers with 18 while fellow senior Isaiah Stevens scored 15, but there was almost no help from the Rams bench, which was out-scored 35-19 by the Aztecs. SDSU was led by LeDee’s 14 and had five players score double digits.

The Aztecs capitalized on CSU’s 16 total turnovers for 15 points and Colorado State was again characteristically cold from the 3-point arc (3-14, 21%).

San Diego State just proved why they are the class of the Mountain West Conference, improving to 22-5, 13-2 MW. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has the Aztecs as a No. 6 seed in the NCAA Tournament and also has Boise State (10 seed) and Nevada (11 seed) also in the tourney as of his latest update.

Meanwhile in Fort Collins, the Rams are just trying to get through this down year after making the NCAA Tournament themselves last season. CSU is now 12-16, 4-11 MW with three games to go before the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas, NV.

Next up for CSU is a winnable game against the woeful Wyoming Cowboys (8-19, 3-12 MW) which tips off at 7 p.m. MT at Moby Arena on Friday, Feb. 24.