Photo Essay: San Diego State vs Troy

Lamont Butler had a peaks-and-valleys type game. Sensational plays would be followed by equally bad miscues. Here he somehow chases down a player to stop a fast break but it came after he was careless with the basketball on the other end. (Don De Mars/EVT)

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Playing one of the toughest stretches of games in the country. SDSU rolled into Viejas Arena tired and fighting an illness. Keshad Johnson only played 14 minutes in Monday’s 60-55 victory over Troy. “Another hard-fought game. I told the guys I feel bad about the schedule I put together, but it’s going to toughen us. There’s
no question about that. We knew Troy was good, they had our full attention,” Brain Dutcher said postgame. (Don De Mars/EVT)
It was a sloppy performance for the Aztecs. They turned the ball over a season-high 17 times. SDSU was fortunate Troy did not take more advantage of their mistakes. The Trojans only had seven points off turnovers. (Don De Mars/EVT)
Matt Bradley had his most “Bradley-esque” performance of the year. He poured in 19 points. Scoring with space and when Troy defended him well. “I’m just out there playing trying to have fun,” Bradley said postgame.  (Don De Mars/EVT)
After struggling to rebound at times this season. SDSU’s guards got into the fray on Monday leading to a 37-32 rebounding advantage. “The only thing I wish we had done better is we had a lot of stops on the stretch, but we didn’t finish with a rebound. Gave them second chance opportunities, but we guarded like crazy tonight,” Brian Dutcher said postgame. (Don De Mars/EVT)
SDSU’s ball pressure bothered Troy all night and the Trojans rarely got into an offensive rhythm. Most impressively the Aztecs guarded closely without fouling. Troy only drew 12 fouls. (Don De Mars/EVT)
Bradley and Trammell deserve a lot of credit for the win, but the most dominant player was Nathan Mensah. He finished with seven points and nine rebounds. When he was not in, the contest took a different tenor. (Don De Mars/EVT)
Aguek Arop was sensational off the bench. In 20:06 minutes, he had eight points, five rebounds, and impacted the game in numerous ways that will not show up in the box score. (Don De Mars/EVT)
“Freedom within framework” is Brian Dutcher’s stated philosophy, but he clearly gave his players less space to make mistakes on Monday. (Don De Mars/EVT)
Adam Seiko benefited from Dutcher’s approach. He only shot 1-6 from the field, but had no turnovers, played team defense, and had a pair of steals. Dutcher favored steady, consistent play against Troy. (Don De Mars/EVT)
Fans focus on who starts games but coaches care about who finishes. Each night, SDSU players compete for the honor. On Monday, Dutcher depended on Trammell, Seiko, Bradley, Arop, and Mensah. They delivered down the stretch. (Don De Mars/EVT)
It was an ugly but familiar win. The kind of victory SDSU will need to duplicate down the road if they are to win a Mountain West title. Bad shooting and ridiculous turnovers can be overcome by suffocating defense, rebounding, and timely baskets. (Don De Mars/EVT)

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