April 19, 2024
SDSU ahead Jaedon LeDee was the main scorer as SDSU defeated UNLV. Photograph by Chris Stone

San Diego State continued their successful methods Saturday, utilizing aggressive protection and
clutch scoring to beat rival UNLV 72-61 beneath the glare of the nationwide highlight.

“Actually happy with our effort,” mentioned coach Brian Dutcher. “This can be a superb UNLV crew.”

The Aztecs (13-2, 2-0 Mountain West) and the Runnin’ Rebels (7-6, 0-1) have been assembly for the eightieth time, with San Diego State holding a 42-37 benefit. This time, they performed earlier than a nationwide tv viewers as the sport was broadcast on CBS.

Each groups got here in scorching. The Aztecs have been driving a five-game successful streak and the Rebels had received 4 of their final 5 with 4 gamers averaging in double figures in scoring.

However on Saturday, the Aztecs, significantly Jaedon LeDee, got here out scorching. LeDee had 5 rebounds and a complete of six factors, giving the Aztecs a double-digit lead, 15-3, inside the first 5 minutes.

As if the Aztecs wanted extra vitality, in got here Reese Waters (sprained ankle) and Miles Byrd (turf toe), regardless of being uncertain for the sport. However they each got here on the court docket early in
the primary half to a rousing ovation from the house crowd.

“I used to be completely satisfied to have them each,” mentioned Dutcher. “I assumed I might need one. I didn’t suppose I’d have them each.”

Byrd instantly added a 3 pointer and Micah Parrish put in one other because the Aztecs continued constructing their result in as excessive as 16 factors, at 25-9.

However UNLV’s protection clamped down and so they started hitting baskets to convey the lead again to single digits, at 29-22, with about three minutes left earlier than the break. The Aztecs pushed the lead again up as the primary half ended with them on prime, 35-25.

After halftime, the Aztecs continued constructing their lead, with Darrion Trammell getting a three-pointer and Waters hooking a shot. However the Rebels stayed shut, slicing the result in six factors at 44-38.

The Aztecs protection clamped down, forcing back-to-back turnovers by the Rebels. After which LeDee asserted himself once more, going inside for a basket and a foul and later grabbing a rebound of his personal missed free throw and scoring a basket to push the result in 56-47.

LeDee would end with a team-high 20 factors and 11 rebounds.

“Jaedon is a bodily presence,” mentioned Dutcher.

After LeDee’s personal rebound, Parrish stole the ball a few minutes later, drove to the basket and made an off-balance shot to provide the Aztecs a 60-49 lead. LeDee went again inside for 2 after UNLV missed two free throws.

To not be outdone, Trammell additionally received a steal and launched a shot as he was falling away from the basket to provide the Aztecs a 65-52 lead with lower than 5 minutes to go.

The lead stayed in double digits at 68-55 with about two minutes to play, and the Rebels made it shut on the finish with back-to-back three pointers, however the Aztecs made their free
throws within the ultimate seconds to carry on to the victory.

Dutcher mentioned he knew taking part in UNLV could be a problem and credited their protection, which compelled the Aztecs into 17 turnovers.

“We made some dangerous choices,” he mentioned. “They pressured us actually exhausting.”

The Aztecs go on the street for his or her subsequent sport, at San Jose State at 8 p.m. Tuesday. The sport is scheduled to be televised on the CBS Sports activities Community.

Dutcher mentioned taking part in with out the house court docket benefit will probably be exhausting.

“Our crowd is every part to us,” he mentioned.