Aztecs Rough Up the Buckeyes 88-77

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Transferring in from Oakland University this summer, junior Micah Parrish arrived at San Diego State with the label of a “3 and D” guy. He showed that and much more Monday evening.

The 2021-22 Horizon League All-Defensive team player demonstrated his offensive prowess in the #17 Aztecs’ Maui Invitational opener against Ohio State helping to lead SDSU to an 88-77 victory.

Parrish came up huge time and again for the Aztecs answering the Buckeyes’ attempts to get back in the game with key buckets. The Detroit, Michigan native finished the night with 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting from the field.

The sweet-shooting lefty added five rebounds and some important defense as SDSU held on for its fourth straight win to start the season.

Ohio State’s shooters Sean McNeil and Brice Sensabaugh hit consecutive shots to pull the Big Ten team to within four points with just about 14 minutes to go in the game.

But it was Parrish who calmly stepped up for the Aztecs and nailed a three to swing momentum back to the Red and Black. It would not be his last. 

After a five-point possession pulled Ohio State to within seven coming down the stretch, ESPN’s Player of the Game nailed another three to answer the run and assure Aztec fans at the Lahaina Civic Center and those watching and listening from the mainland, that SDSU was not leaving this night without a win.

The victory moves SDSU to 6-4 in the Maui Invitational in four appearances in this prestigious preseason tournament overall, and sets up a Tuesday evening (7:30pm) match up against the winner of #14 Arizona and Cincinnati.

In addition, the Aztecs now own a 3-1 record all time when facing the Buckeyes on the hardwood. Such a successful history against the Big Ten opponent had some on social media making strong suggestions to the powers that be in the college sports world.

While Parrish made game turning plays all night, Matt Bradley showed why he deserves a spot on the Jerry West Award Watch List. The senior transfer from Cal poured in 18 points on 6/11 shooting, easily his best offensive output of the young season. 

The Sons of Montezuma Kiss The Rings Podcast went in detail how Bradley could make an impact and return to form on this new look SDSU squad. Tonight he did just that and more.

Backcourt mates Lamont Butler and Adam Seiko also played big for the Aztecs. Butler showed why many feel he’s ready to take an offensive leap this season.

The junior contributed 15 points and three assists with no turnovers in 31 minutes of action. Seiko, the always steady senior, scored 14 and contributed five rebounds in 22 productive minutes off the bench. 

With Parrish and Seiko leading the way, SDSU’s bench players combined to score 41 points, demonstrating once again how valuable quality depth is for a team with designs on a deep run in March.

For Ohio State, McNeil, 22 points, and Sensabaugh, 17 points, led the team. The Aztecs’ defense did a nice job containing 6’8” forward Zed Key. The junior post threat came into the contest against SDSU with three consecutive double-double games, and finished with only seven points and three rebounds.

Key fell victim to what our game preview noted as a key to the game as he was in foul trouble much of the night. San Diego State also held Justice Sueing to six points, half of his season average coming in. 

In the end the Aztecs had way too much talent and experience. With so much senior leadership and well traveled transfers on this years roster, the chemistry is quickly proving to be an invaluable asset to what coach Brian Dutcher is able to coach.

Despite some questionable foul calls keeping Ohio State closer down the stretch, SDSU continued to push on the gas and fought through the adversity once again in this early season.

SDSU looks to continue its hot start to the season in the semifinals of the Maui Invitational on Tuesday evening. If the Aztecs regularly get quality production from its bench and its starters like they have thus far, this season could be one to remember on Montezuma Mesa. 

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