San Diego, California
Monday night SDSU was set to host the Troy Trojans of the Sun Belt Conference. Coming off a last second shot victory against UC Irvine and a dominant performance over Occidental, the Aztecs were getting into an offensive groove despite some early shooting troubles.
Going into the game vs Troy, the Aztecs were highly favored by a wide margin (16.5-point favorites). But as Troy has shown often this season, they are not to be taken lightly as opponents—even on the road. This game ended up proving just that specific point to the Aztecs.
As has unfortunately become the theme early this season, SDSU struggled offensively all night—though they did score just enough to narrowly beat the Trojans by 5 points, 60-55.
Mr. Bradley Goes to Work
The player of the game was 5th-year senior guard Matt Bradley. Bradley had a very impressive game by leading the Aztecs with 19 points—shooting 7-10 from the field, including making one three-pointer.
Matt also was perfect from the charity stripe where he made all four of his free throws—including two very crucial attempts in the games final minute.
More importantly, down the stretch when San Diego State needed a bucket, Bradley was the guy they went to. Especially in the second half when he scored 10 points. Bradley scored in a variety of different ways showing his command of coach Brian Dutcher’s offense, driving into the paint for layups in pick-n-roll sets, /isolation, or making step-back jumpers.
The Gutsy Play of Darrion Trammell
Another player that put up a very, gutsy performance was Darrion Trammell. Having missed the previous game vs Occidental after aggravating a leg injury, Trammell added 14 points while shooting 4-13 from the field.
Despite having to take a large quantity of shots to put up the scoring numbers he did, Darrion was extremely active in forcing the action on his way to scoring double figures through some very key shots.
One of the biggest shots Trammell made on the night was a contested layup with 1:12 minute left to put the Aztecs up 5. In addition, Trammell sealed the game with a few clutch free throws.
The Underrated Aguek Arop
A very, underrated performance was the play of Aguek Arop. Off the bench, in 20 minutes Arop finished with 8 points and 5 rebounds. 3 out of his 5 rebounds were offensive and led to some very crucial second-chance points.
Whenever Arop scored or secured a rebound the crowd went crazy. Without this effort from Arop, you could make a case that the Aztecs don’t win this game.
Old School Aztecs Basketball
As has always been a staple of SDSU basketball, the big reason why the Aztecs won was their defense. Overall, the Aztecs held Troy to only shoot 32.8% from the field, 32.1% from three, and forced 16 turnovers.
The defense was especially tough from SDSU in the 2nd half—which led them to victory. Despite giving up many open looks to Troy in the first half, in the game’s latter half Troy’s shots were not falling. The Trojans shot 20.7% from the field only made 6 shots, and shot 20% from beyond the arc.
Even though, the Aztecs came away with the victory they had some areas that they really struggled in. The biggest issue during this game was three-point shooting. After making 19 three-pointers in 37 attempts(51.3%) vs Occidental in the previous game, the Aztecs were only 4-22(18.2%) versus Troy.
Adam Seiko and Micah Parrish were a combined 10-19 from beyond the arc vs. Occidental, it was a totally different story against the Trojans going a combined 1-7 from long distance. Only making 4-22 from beyond the arc as a team, really stalled the offense at times and kept Troy in the game.
Another big problem was taking care of the game. The Aztecs committed 15 turnovers and allowed Troy to score 7 points off those. If the Aztecs can tighten up their focus and discipline ball movement within the offense, they can fix these problems and will be even more difficult to beat.
The Aztecs next face Saint Mary’s (6-3) on Saturday, December 10th at 12 pm for a neutral site contest in Phoenix, Arizona at the Footprint Center.