Aztecs offense struggles in 58-43 loss to USC

Credit: USC Athletics

Credit: USC Athletics

A rough offensive performance from the San Diego State Aztecs resulted in their second loss of the season.

The Aztecs only scored 43 points, their lowest since the 45-point performance last year against Utah State.

Both losses are against ranked teams, with BYU ranked at 18 and the USC Trojans currently slotted at 24. The Aztecs don’t have a bad loss, but they’ve missed some opportunities for great wins away from Viejas Arena.

Senior guard Adam Seiko did not play as he nursed a quad contusion. The Aztecs missed his veteran presence on the floor Friday night.

Head coach Brian Dutcher brought in Matt Bradley from California to be the leading scorer and open up the offense. Bradley did not notch a basket until there was 1:20 remaining in the game.

The only Aztec to reach double figures in points was Trey Pulliam, who made a floater on San Diego State’s final shot of the game for his 11th point. Lamont Butler, Aguek Arop, and Nathan Mensah provided some offensive value by being the other Aztecs to make multiple field goals.

SDSU entered the contest ranked in the bottom-100 in three-point percentage, 295th shooting 28.2%, and free throw percentage, 272nd shooting 66.1%. After making just three of their 17 three-point shots and shooting 4-11 from the foul line, both marks fell dramatically. The Aztecs are now shooting 26.5% from behind the arc, which ranks 323rd, and are making 63.8% of their free throws, which is 309th in the nation.

A focal point for the Aztecs entering the game was to secure missed shots and rebound strongly against tall USC team, the 4th tallest team in the nation according to KenPom. SDSU got killed on the glass, losing the rebounding margin by 16.

Four Aztecs failed to score in the contest. Of those four, Keith Dinwiddie led them with 20 minutes played. His defense and floor spacing resulted in just a -3 +/-, but San Diego State needs better offensive production from the sophomore guard, especially if Seiko is out. Joshua Tomaic posted a -9 +/- in his eight scoreless minutes.

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After their last loss, the Aztecs rebounded nicely with a home win over Arizona State at Viejas Arena. They’ll look to do the same Tuesday night when Long Beach State makes the trip to Viejas. KenPom currently projects SDSU to win 78-57. Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. PT. This will be their last game before making the trip to Ann Arbor to face the Michigan Wolverines, another ranked opponent.

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