The San Diego State Aztecs‘ loss to USC was scary.
For an Aztecs team with many talented players, they often play well below their skill level.
Tuesday’s win over Long Beach serves as a reminder that the season is young, and they still are a great team.
The biggest difference between the USC game and Tuesday was the offense. The plan of attack was working, the three-point shot was connecting, and everyone was involved. Trey Pulliam, Lamont Butler, Matt Bradley, and Keith Dinwiddie all had double-digit performances.
One of the most important aspects of the game was who stepped up as the lead scorer.
In the first half, it was Bradley. After the first seven minutes of the game, he already scored 10 points and had two rebounds. Some early foul trouble would limit his playing time, but that was no problem. In the second half, it was Pulliam’s turn to dominate. He scored 12 of his 16 points on the night in the last half.
That wasn’t it for the Aztecs.
Their shooting from beyond the arc finally came to life. Six different Aztecs connected from deep, and they shot 7-for-21 as a team. That is a great turnaround (3-for-17 from last game). All this has happened without Adam Seiko, who owns a .361 career three-point percentage. He remained out of the game with a lingering hamstring injury.
The great play didn’t stop there. A lot of the little things were executed. The Aztecs shot 13-for-16 from the charity stripe. They recorded 15 points as Pulliam led the team with five. The big men combined for eight blocks. While the team as a whole combined for 13 steals.
The defense continues to look sharp and earned fans a free Soapy Joe’s car wash. All game, they didn’t allow a single three-pointer to fall. That pushed Long Beach State inside, where they only made 32.7% of their shots.
Credit to The Show and the fans at Viejas Arena for getting involved in the defense, as Long Beach only made half of their 22 free throw attempts.
Those same fans were witnesses to four STRAIGHT dunks by SDSU’s offense to end the game. It was truly an in-game dunk contest by the Aztecs late.
While Keshad is the best dunker on the team, Lamont Butler had his own magic. On a fastbreak, he was able to juke a defender that opened up a lane for him to have his own monstrous dunk. Unfortunately for Butler, the dunk came with a price. He hit the ground pretty hard after and was subbed out for the rest of the game. After a quick trip to the locker room, he returned to the court and appeared fine. At that point, the game was out of reach, and Dutcher opted to keep him on the bench.
The Aztecs will need to carry this momentum all the way to Michigan, which awaits them for a big-time matchup on December 4.