April 19, 2024
Jaedon LeDee was a drive in opposition to UAB, scoring 32 and drawing a number of fouls. Photograph credit score: goaztecs.com

San Diego State put aside a critical push by the College of Alabama Birmingham 69-65 Friday to achieve the second spherical of the NCAA Match in Spokane.

However it was not straightforward for No. 5 seed SDSU to stave off No. 12 UAB because the Blazers surged to a lead within the second half regardless of being down by as many as 11.

They moved on due to Jaedon LeDee, who scored 32 factors, greater than some other Aztec in an NCAA Match, and Lamont Butler, who added 15 factors and set the tone on protection.

The Aztecs scored 17 factors off turnovers and Butler was key, LeDee informed CBS, placing himself “of their face all sport.”

San Diego State will meet the winner of the No. 4 Auburn/No. 13 Yale contest – happening Friday afternoon – within the subsequent spherical of East Area play Sunday.

The Aztecs had a dominant opening half on the floor, but allowed UAB to hold shut, taking solely a 35-29 lead into the break.

SDSU began quick – and this might grow to be a theme early on, as LeDee stole the ball from UAB’s Christian Coleman, and opened up the scoring with a layup.

SDSU would rating 10 factors off Blazer turnovers within the first 20 minutes, however additionally they, as is their wont, didn’t convert a few of them – together with a number of second likelihood alternatives.

The Aztecs had 9 turnovers of their very own, however for probably the most half, UAB additionally didn’t capitalize.

Butler had 5 factors within the half, however considerably 4 of San Diego State’s 10 steals, an indication of how the Aztecs disrupted UAB.

Additionally they harassed two prime Blazers, Yaxel Lendeborg and Christian Coleman, who entered the second half with three fouls every.

Fouls factored in, on each side, as Lendeborg, who had been held scoreless by SDSU early, broke by way of, and principally from the road, the place UAB excels.

It was sufficient for the Blazers to return all the best way again and tie the sport at 49 as Efrem Johnson hit a three-pointer, then gave his group the lead with a jumper with lower than 10 minutes to go within the sport.

It took the Aztecs some time, however LeDee took again the lead with a layup because the clock ticked under 5 minutes. And Lendeborg would foul out, as did Javian Davis, leaving UAB shorthanded.

As Butler famous, he and his teammates, battle examined of their deep convention, stayed cool regardless of the strain.

“We simply didn’t panic,” the guard stated. “We’ve been in that place earlier than the place groups got here again on us. Within the Mountain West, it occurs on a regular basis. So we have been sort of
used to it.”

Head coach Brian Dutcher additionally pointed to his veteran group’s seasoning throughout the 2023 NCAA Match run.

“I informed the group after the sport that have means one thing,” he stated. “I believe all that have we bought final yr paid off.”

Finally San Diego State prevailed due to their 8-of-10 efficiency on the line down the stretch, with LeDee making 4 and Butler two.

However LeDee solid an extended shadow general within the win.

“I do know the severity of the scenario, for certain. I imply, you win one sport otherwise you’re carried out,” the All-American stated. “So I’m simply on the market giving it my all and simply ensuring it’s not our final sport.”

Dutcher ticked off all of the methods LeDee impacted the sport, not simply on offense, however in forcing the fouls that hampered UAB from the beginning.

“He makes a mid-range bounce shot, he attracts fouls inside, he made an early three once more,” Dutcher stated. “So we had his sport working at each stage, post-ups, mid-range bounce pictures, and the three-point shot. That makes him a very exhausting man to protect.”

Up to date 2:40 p.m. March 22, 2024