Aztecs Beat Buckeyes 88-77 In Maui, Advance To Semifinals

Aztecs Beat Buckeyes 88-77 In Maui, Advance To Semifinals

Maui Invitational

Aztecs Beat Buckeyes 88-77 In Maui, Advance To Semifinals


Aztecs Beat Buckeyes 88-77 In Maui, Advance To Semifinals

The Aztecs commanded this game and overpowered a strong Buckeyes squad with impressive depth, power and tenacity.

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SDSU advances to play the winner of the Cincinnati / Arizona Matchup, on Tuesday, November 22nd at 10:30pm EST.

Maui, HI– The #17 Aztecs defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes 88-77 on Monday night in the Maui Jim Invitational Quarterfinals at the Lahaina Civic Center in Maui, Hawaii.
After a sluggish start, the Buckeyes and Aztecs heated up, and what ensued was an aggressively-played battle between two very well coached squads.

In the first half, Ohio State trailed at one point by 15 points.  At halftime, the Aztecs led 37-26. The Buckeyes shot 30 percent (9 of 30) from the floor and were dismally 1 of 11 on threes. The Aztecs, who had 10 points from Matt Bradley and seven points each from Lamont Butler and Adam Seiko, shot 42 percent from the floor (13 of 31) and 4 of 10 on threes.

Brice Sensabaugh led the Buckeyes with nine points off the bench. Justice Sueing managed four points on 2 of 7 shooting, while Zed Key had three points and one board before getting into foul trouble.

San Diego State missed their first eight shots, yet the Buckeyes led just 5-0 after Key made three-point play followed by two free throws by Sensabaugh. The Aztecs responded by making an eight point run making it 10-7.

SDSU followed that with a 12-4 run as the Buckeyes found themselves rattled offensively. Butler had a jumper and a three and Seiko and Bradley each registered threes as the Aztecs made it 22-13. The Buckeyes’ two baskets in that stretch came from freshmen on an alley oop tip-in by Felix Okpara and a self-sacrificing scoop by Bruce Thornton.

Isaac Likekele made two free throws and Sensabaugh hit a three off a Thornton pass to cut the lead to 22-18. But SDSU answered with seven straight points, including a three from Jaedon LeDee, making it 29-18.

LeDee made a pair of free throws to make it 35-20, at 2:50 before the half.

The Buckeyes brought it within 11 at the half as Roddy Gayle had a baseline drive for a layup and Sensabaugh hit a 16-footer, plus two free throws.

Starting off the second half, Matt Bradley hit a three in short order to make it 40-26.

Then… Buckeyes’ guard Sean McNeil came off the bench and LIT IT UP, downing 11 points in the first five minutes of the second half, scoring a drive, three jumpers and a three a to bring it within ten at 49-40.

The Buckeyes kept battling with two shots by Key and Sensebaugh. McNeil then had a five-point run jumper that got the lead down to four, at 51-47, which brought Ohio State as close as they would get to tying the things up.

Then, the Aztecs rallied back strong and took advantage of the Buckeyes’ visible fatigue. Parrish made a three and then followed it up with another three. Butler picked a pass from Likekele, and assisted a layup by Aguek Arop extending the Aztecs’ lead back to 12 at 59-47.  Then, a three by Seiko pushed it to 16 at 68-52.

After some back and forth, the Buckeyes got within nine after Thornton hit a three, making it 77-68 with 4:51 left. Thornton found Tanner Holden for a layup and he was fouled by SDSU’s Bradley.

The foul was then ruled as flagrant. Holden made two frees to cut it to 80-72 with 4:03 left. The Buckeyes retained possession and Sensabaugh was fouled. He hit 1 of 2 to make it 80-73.

The Aztecs’ Parrish answered downed a three at the other end, though, to make it 83-73. Thornton hit two free throws to make it 83-75. Sensabaugh hit a jumper in the lane to cut the lead to 85-77 with 1:00 left. The Buckeyes didn’t get any closer for the balance of the game.

The Aztecs kept the lead for most of this game, and had a responded with force any time the Buckeyes started to develop traction. Despite a valiant effort, the Aztecs were too much for the Buckeyes, and were victorious.

Difference Makers

The Aztecs made 51 percent of shots and 48 percent of threes (10 of 21).The Buckeyes went 43 percent in shooting and 32 percent (7 of 22) on threes.

Next Up

The Aztecs play the winner of tonight’s match between Cincinnati (3-1) and No. 14 Arizona (3-0) in its second-round game on Tuesday. That game will be at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN.

The Buckeyes play the loser of tonight’s match between Cincinnati (3-1) and No. 14 Arizona (3-0) in its second-round game on Tuesday. That game will be at 5:00 p.m. on ESPN.




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