SDSU Aztecs defeat Point Loma Nazarene 71-51

Credit: Deanna Gold/ EVT Sports

Credit: Deanna Gold/ EVT Sports

Fresh off a win against Cal in the SoCal Showcase, the San Diego State Aztecs hosted Division II’s own Point Loma Nazarene for their 15th contest all-time and first since 2012.

SDSU now leads the all-time series (10-5) and won their fourth in a row against PLNU.

“That is a good game for us,” head coach Brian Dutcher said. “Point Loma has a ranked DII program and played us without their best player tonight. They stretch the floor and shoot three’s and they provide a whole different challenge than what we have faced this year. It was a good challenge for us.”

It took a few minutes for the Aztecs to get into a rhythm with a slow start, but the pace certainly ramped up once the first few shots started to fall. SDSU drained five of their first seven three-pointers to jump out to a massive lead. A 16-3 run was a key part of this game as it saw the lead jump out to 15 with around 10 minutes to go in the first half.

Credit: Deanna Gold/ EVT Sports

During that same span, SDSU saw Point Loma attempt 11 threes while only making four of them. The Sea Lions’ game plan was to rely on the long ball, and it was clear they preferred that. PLNU ended the first half with 20 of their 29 shots coming from deep. In fact, they only made one basket in the first half that was from inside the arc.

The Sea Lions closed the lead to just six points with 4:13 left in the first half. SDSU was called for their third charge call of the game, and the fans in Viejas Arena were not having it. A roar of boo’s erupted the arena as Dutcher was verbally upset.

The Aztecs proceeded to regain momentum, ending the half on a 9-0 from that point.

SDSU led 41-26 at the break. Jaedon LeDee ended the first half with a double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Right before the break, Darrion Trammell hit yet another shot to close out the half. That was his third of the season, all coming right before the first half ended.

“I go out there and I have confidence,” Trammell said when asked about his shot making before the half. “The coaches draw something up for me and I get down hill and make a play whether that is me scoring or dishing it out to a teammate. One on one is where I’m at my best and it’s kinda hard to stop me in that situation cause I have full confidence now.”

Luke Smith started the second half hot for the Sea Lions. His point total reached 19. He shot 5-7 from deep and was the entire offense for the Sea Lions in this contest. Smith and Zach Paulson (13 points) kept PLNU in the game for as long as they could, but it wasn’t enough.

The dominant defense from SDSU was too much for the Sea Lions to handle. The Aztecs held PLNU to just 29% from the floor in the game.

LeDee was the star of the night. He notched a double-double in the first half and ended the game with 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 1 steal.

Credit: Deanna Gold/ EVT Sports

“He’s Jaedon LeDee,” Trammell said when asked about LeDee’s performance tonight. “We see it every day in practice and I saw it the last two years so it’s pretty normal.”

Dutcher unleashed the back end of the bench with about two minutes remaining … and from there, the contest was over.

San Diego State has now won nine straight games at home and are 68-6 in their last 74 games at Viejas Arena.

The next game for the Aztecs is this Friday, December 1, as they face UC San Diego on the road.

“We need a day off,” Dutcher said about the quick transition to games. “We are pretty banged up. We need to get through this stretch and then get to finals week where we can get a whole week to 10 days off to heal up our bodies. We need some time to heal more than anything.”

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News & Stats

  • BJ Davis scored his first points of the season, going 2-2 from the free-throw line.
  • Reese Waters finished with 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists
  • Lamont Butler ended with 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists
  • SDSU shot 45% from the floor and 32% from deep
  • LeDee has four double-doubles on the season
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