February 23, 2024
Aztec freshman Elijah Saunders sinks the ball within the second half in opposition to Lengthy Seaside State. Picture by Chris Stone

Unranked, however not undone.

San Diego State outlasted a decided Lengthy Seaside State staff Tuesday at Viejas Enviornment, pulling away late for an 88-76 victory.

“An excellent win,” mentioned coach Brian Dutcher. “I used to be nervous about Lengthy Seaside.”

Each groups entered the sport 1-1 on the younger season, however the Aztecs had been contemporary off a loss to BYU that knocked them out of the Related Press High 25 rankings.

In got here Lengthy Seaside State, and it was Aztecs guard Reese Waters, who grew up in Lengthy Seaside, stealing the highlight initially of the sport, driving into the paint for his first factors after which hitting a three-pointer from the nook.

Waters joked later that he was going for bragging rights, and he ended up with 15 factors. He was one in all 5 Aztecs who scored in double digits, led once more by Jaedon LeDee with 27. The ahead matched his profession excessive, set final week.

SDSU constructed an early lead after which started hitting three-pointers, together with one from Elijah
Saunders and one other from Micah Parrish.

On the eight-minute mark of the primary half, the Aztecs had been taking pictures 83.3% from lengthy distance and later had constructed a lead as excessive as 13 factors.

However Lengthy Seaside State slowly lower into it with three pointers of their very own, till they had been behind by simply 5 with a little bit over six minutes left within the half.

The Aztecs bounced again, although, and had the sold-out Viejas crowd roaring after Parrish delivered an enormous dunk. A 3-pointer from Trammell three minutes later continued their momentum.

A Lengthy Seaside State jumper on the buzzer pulled the 49ers nearer, however nonetheless left the Aztecs up 47-39 at halftime.

The second half began with some sloppy play from each groups, together with fouls, a missed dunk by the Aztecs and turnovers.

Guard Lamont Butler credited Lengthy Seaside State’s various defensive seems with inflicting turnovers. “We had been simply making an attempt to determine what they had been doing,” mentioned Butler.

Added Dutcher: “You follow, however you’ll be able to’t follow for every little thing.”

Nonetheless, the Aztecs stored the lead till a surge by Lengthy Seaside State once more lower the result in 5.

The Aztecs answered once more, this time with a Miles Heide basket, a three-pointer from Waters and one other from Butler; they’d a 66-57 lead with a little bit over 10 minutes to go.

However each time the Aztecs threatened to run away, Lengthy Seaside State got here again with a well timed basket. One other three-pointer from Waters was answered with a layup from Lengthy Seaside, off a turnover by LeDee.

The Aztecs lastly opened a long way with a little bit over six minutes left. A steal by Parrish led to Lengthy Seaside State guard Jadon Jones fouling out. That appeared to energise the Aztecs as Parrish quickly adopted with a dunk, then LeDee took an inside cross for a layup, and
later, his two free throws made it 83-67 Aztecs with 4:27 to play.

Dutcher mentioned there have been a number of positives within the sport, together with the Aztecs’ rebounding and assists.

“88? That’s a fairly good offensive efficiency,” he mentioned.

To start the night, the Aztecs held a second of silence to honor San Diego Padres proprietor Peter Seidler, who died earlier within the day.

SDSU returns to motion at 6:30 p.m. Friday, when the Aztecs meet Saint Mary’s School on the Continental Tire Foremost Occasion in Las Vegas. Additionally they play Sunday, in opposition to Washington or Xavier.