Aztecs storm back to beat UCSD 63-62 at the buzzer

Credit: Deanna Gold/ EVT Sports

Credit: Deanna Gold/ EVT Sports

The San Diego State Aztecs and UC San Diego Tritons met for the 14th time, and SDSU remains undefeated in all 14 meetings against the Tritons.

Wow … what a game that was. UCSD had a 14-point lead erased thanks to a Jaedon LeDee buzzer-beating put-back finish.

“I wanted to get Micah (Parrish) an open three,” head coach Brian Dutcher said. “I wanted to throw it to a guy they would be afraid to foul because of his shooting. Once we got on the offensive end and started moving the ball they were afraid to grab us in case we were in the act of shooting. We ended up getting a shot and Jaedon does what he does and got the key tip in to win the game.”

The final eight minutes of this contest were intense. A huge offensive outburst from SDSU allowed for them to get the win despite playing poorly on offense all night long.

A win is a win, and SDSU improved to (7-1) on the season.

The Aztecs continued to come out the gates slow. It took them over three minutes to record their first field goal. Micah Parrish nailed in their first FG with a deep three to get them going.

UC San Diego started out the game shooting the ball well. They led 13-7 in the first five minutes while going 3-3 from beyond the arc to start out.

The fans in the arena were electric all night for the Tritons, and you could tell the players fed off that energy all game long. Draining three 3-pointers in front of the student section is what propelled them to a huge first half.

UCSD led for the entire first half, taking advantage of the few inches the Aztecs were giving them on the perimeter. The Tritons are a great shooting team and started the game, making that a priority. You could tell the Aztecs were giving them those looks early on but once they started to consistently fall, the pressure started to come defensively. UCSD ended the game going 10-29 from deep.

SDSU is one of the better defensive teams in the country, but it did not look like it during the first half.

The Aztecs did not have a lead at all during the first half, as they trailed 31-30 at the break.

The Aztecs shot just 38% from the floor in the first half, including going just 2-10 from deep. Parrish led the team with seven points and also had seven rebounds at the break.

Credit: Deanna Gold/ EVT Sports

The second half started just as hot for the Tritons. Two three-pointers later and an and-one conversation, the Tritons scored 11 quick points to maintain the lead five minutes into the second half.

Parrish and Elijah Saunders were doing everything they could to keep the Aztecs in the game. Parrish ended the game with a team-high 15 points and also had a team-high of 10 rebounds.

UCSD started to run away with the game … or at least it seemed as if that was the case. They were dominating every aspect of this game, and SDSU couldn’t get into a rhythm offensively. There were too many occasions where SDSU looked completely out of sync in this game. The Tritons kept taking great looks from beyond the arc and they were making the Aztecs pay.

However, with around eight minutes remaining, the Aztecs stormed back. Led by Lamont Butler and Jaedon LeDee, SDSU erased a 14-point deficit to win the game.

Butler finished the game with 10 points, including two critical three’s late in the game. Butler took what the defense gave him and made them pay.

“(Butler) is a confident player,” Dutcher said. You can miss shots during the game but really good players make shots when the game is on the line. Lamont missed layups and missed some opportunities but to his credit … much like he did last year, he made important shots for us and he made really important shots for us tonight.”

It wasn’t pretty overall, but the Aztecs got the job done. Credit goes to UCSD as they played their hearts out Friday night. They played in front of a home crowd that was loud the entire night. The Tritons were one basket away from their biggest win in program history.

SDSU will have a few days off before they take on Grand Canyon University on the road on Tuesday, December 5, at 6:00 PM.

News & Stats

  • Miles Byrd missed tonight’s action due to an injury.
  • Darrion Trammell started in Reese Waters place as Waters was under the weather. Waters still would go on to score four points. Trammell ended with four also on 1-11 shooting.
  • LeDee ended with 13 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists.
  • Bryce Pope and Hayden Gray led UCSD with 15 points each
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