Aztecs Remove Rust, Rout Runnin’ Rebels 80-55
The Aztecs earn their 300th win at Viejas Arena after UNLV rout.
The Aztecs have a growing tradition of hammering the team they face immediately after experiencing a defeat.
San Diego, CA – The SDSU Aztecs (11-4, 3-1 MW) handily defeated the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels (11-9, 3-4 MW) 80-55 at Viejas Arena on a rare Monday night match. This is the second of a three matches to be played in five days, following the Aztecs’ 14-day hiatus due to Covid protocol.
Matt Bradley shined with his best Aztecs performance, contributing a whopping 27 points on 10 of 11 makes, while adding six boards, four assists and two picks.
Trey Pulliam added a solid 11 points, and Lamont Butler contributed nine. Nathan Mensah produced eight and Joshua Tomaic managed seven as well.
Bryce Hamilton led UNLV with 23 points, and Jordan McCabe managed 10. UNLV shot 31.7 percent, complements of relentless Aztecs defense.
In contrast to Saturday’s low-scoring defensive clinic, the Aztecs took advantage of UNLV’s underwhelming D and managed 23 fast break points with prolific dunks.
Scene stealers included Lamont Butler dunking over 6-2 guard Michael Nuga AND 6-8 Royce Hamm Jr; Keshad Johnson’s fierce windmill, and then Butler’s one-handed skyball.
Chad Baker-Mazara was finally back in rotation, after sidelining due to protocol against Boise State. He had just two points and two boards in nine minutes. He matched those stats with two major fouls including a T for sportsmanship, and then a flagrant. To his defense both fouls were somewhat questionable.
The Aztecs managed 42 points in the first half (season best) and 38 in the second half, even with the bench getting several minutes toward the end of the game.
With under ten seconds to go, Keith Dinwiddie had a spectacular DONK (major dunk fail) that was cleaned up by walk-on Jared Barnett with two seconds to go.
This game was the proverbial pallet cleanser the Aztecs needed to shake off their horrific loss against Boise State on Saturday.
The Aztec Nation congratulates San Diego State head coaches Steve Fisher (retired) and Brian Dutcher for the Aztecs’ 300th home win since Viejas Arena (formerly Cox Arena) was opened in 1997.
This author attended SDSU during the construction of Viejas Arena. The two-year construction site was something to behold, as the arena was built right into the Aztec Bowl, a sunken concrete football stadium where Aztecs football was played from 1935 until 1966.
Steve Fisher and Brian Dutcher arrived at San Diego State in 1999. Prior to their arrival, during the 1990’s alone, SDSU basketball was coached by no less than Jim Brandenburg, Jim Herrick, Jr., Tony Fuller and Fred Trenkle. Peterson Gym was the Aztecs’ venue, and these coaches’ collective result was 127-214- a 37% win percentage. The university had to give tickets away or students would not attend.
The powerhouse Aztecs basketball program that Steve Fisher and Brian Dutcher have built for San Diego State University is truly remarkable