Photo courtesy goaztecs.com
January 28, 2023 (San Diego) - Keshad Johnson scored 16 points and had eight rebounds, while Matt Bradley added 14 points, as the Aztecs beat San Jose State 72-51 on Saturday evening.
Both teams would find baskets hard to come by in the opening minutes, as both teams limited each other offensively. In the opening 12 minutes the Aztecs (17-1, 8-1 MW) limited the Spartans (13-9, 4-5 MW) to 5-17 from the field and 1-8 from deep.
Aguek Arop got the crowd into it with a nice pass to Jaedon LeDee who slammed it home to spark an Aztec run, and SDSU took a 22-13 lead with 6:20 left in the first half. Johnson then kept the crowd on its feet with another slam, putting the Aztecs up double digits, 24-13.
On the defensive end both Johnson and Arop had blocks in the first half. Arop's came with just under 3 minutes to go in the half, keeping the Aztec advantage in the double digits, 27-14. Then with 1:48 left in the first half, Darrion Trammell picked up a loose ball on the defensive end, threw it ahead to
Micah Parrish, who threw a perfect lob to Johnson for his second slam of the night.
SDSU held the Spartans to 0-14 from the field in the final 10 minutes of the first half, taking a 33-14 lead into the halftime break. The Aztecs held San Jose State to 5-20 (25%) from the field in the first half and finished the first half on a 25-3 run.
San Diego State would open the second half on another run, outscoring the Spartans 13-5 over the opening 4:14 in the half, taking a 46-19 lead. During that span Matt Bradley scored six points, while Nathan Mensah added another dunk for the Aztecs.
San Jose State would then punch back, and go on a 18-4 run of their own, cutting the deficit to 51-37 with 10:40 left in the game. The Spartans would continue to chip away at the lead, and made it a 13 point game with 5:31 to play, 59-48.
A few minutes later, Adam Seiko, fresh off of his career-high 25 points on Thursday, drilled a three to give the Aztecs a 66-48 lead and they never looked back from there. Lamont Butler followed that up with a three on the next possession and put SDSU up 69-48 with 3:00 to play. Between the 6:45 mark and the 3:00 mark the Aztecs did not give up a point, and went on a 13-0 run to reestablish control of the game.
The Aztecs finished the night with just three turnovers, their fewest in the Mountain West era, and closed the game strongly, winning 72-51 on Saturday night.
Up Next: The Aztecs play at Nevada on Tuesday evening in Reno, Nevada. Tip is set for 8 p.m.