San Diego State Basketball Recap: Threes Rain against St. Mary’s Gaels in 63-53 win

San Diego State Basketball Recap: Threes Rain against St. Mary’s Gaels in 63-53 win

Mountain West Basketball

San Diego State Basketball Recap: Threes Rain against St. Mary’s Gaels in 63-53 win

By

San Diego State Basketball Recap: Threes Rain against St. Mary’s Gaels in 63-53 win


The Aztecs finally have a “good” win in December.


Contact/Follow @ErwinSports & @MWCwire

San Diego State finds their stroke in a 63-53 victory against the St. Mary’s Gaels.

The game was the defensive struggle as advertised. At the first media timeout at 15:52, it was tied up 2-2, and at the second media timeout? 11-9. It’s what happens when two of the nation’s top-10 defensive teams match up. Tonight, the Aztecs were playing their shadow.

  • 14 turnovers for both teams
  • 10-of-14 FTs for both teams
  • SDSU: 35 total rebounds
  • Saint Mary’s: 33 total rebounds
  • SDSU:12 second-chance points
  • Saint Mary’s: 11 second-chance points
  • SDSU: 3 fast-break points
  • Saint Mary’s: 4 fast-break points

The game-winning difference between the programs was shooting 7/10 from 3-point range and holding Saint Mary’s to 36.5% from the field.

On Friday night, Adam Seiko provided a chunk of those threes.

Seiko found his stroke giving SDSU a total of 12 points, hitting a perfect 4-of-4 from the arc. Trey Pulliam, Chad Baker-Mazara, and Joshua Tomaic added a three-pointer each which gave the Aztecs a 7-of-10 night from the perimeter. The Aztecs have not shot 70% from downtown this year, and those extra swing passes found the open man.

Nathan Mensah, who dominated this same St. Mary’s roster last year in San Luis Obispo, had a quiet 5 points but provided the interior defense. The senior from Ghana nabbed a total of 13 rebounds (5 offensive, 8 defensive), blocked 3 shots, and stole the ball twice. Mensah was primed to go off but only found the basket twice from the field.

Brian Dutcher went with a 9-man bench, and his gamble paid off as each member recorded at least 2-points the whole game. Defensively, they were chasing down Gael passes and closing outs on the perimeter. On the perimeter, they were sticking their assignments, and by the time Saint Mary’s needed to shoot, they faced Mensah disrupting their plans.

Even with tight coverage on the perimeter, Saint Mary’s had some good open looks but didn’t fall in. The Gaels looked like gassed with nowhere to go.

Dutcher properly prepared his team for this matchup with their attention to detail and improving their offense over the course of the break.

It took about six weeks for the Aztecs to nab a signature non-conference win. Opportunities were there against USC, BYU, and Michigan, but Saint Mary’s was the final quality non-conference opponent. There are no more tournament-quality programs until they meet Colorado State in February.

Even their standings in the NET might change by tip-off in two months. Colorado State announced on Friday that they will be canceling their scheduled games against Alabama and Toledo due to COVID-19 issues within CSU’s team.

Latest

More MWWire