Men’s basketball’s explosive first half leads to record-breaking performance over Wyoming

Freshman+guard+Lamont+Butler+attempts+a+layup+during+the+first+half+of+the+Aztecs%27+87-57+win+over+Wyoming+on+Jan.+28+at+Viejas+Arena.

Brandon Balayan

Freshman guard Lamont Butler attempts a layup during the first half of the Aztecs’ 87-57 win over Wyoming on Jan. 28 at Viejas Arena.

by Andrew Finley, Staff Writer

San Diego State men’s basketball put up 63 points in the first half Thursday night against Wyoming, leading the Scarlet and Black to a 87-57 victory. Those 63 first-half points sets a new record for points scored in the first half in Mountain West Conference history.

The Aztecs (12-4, 6-3 MWC) didn’t even have to score in the second half and would have beat the Cowboys (10-6, 4-5 MWC), but SDSU would tack on 24 more points in the second half to secure the win. 

The high score was the result of an all-around team effort. For head coach Brian Dutcher, that’s all he could have asked for.

“We played the right way,” Dutcher said of the Aztecs’ performance. “We were hot from threes and we got out on the fastbreak because we got stops. We shared the ball and we did not turn the ball over.” 

The Scarlet and Black were hot from outside the paint in the first half, landing eight of its 11 3-pointers. Senior guards Terrell Gomez and Jordan Schakel combined to miss just one of their seven 3-point shots in the first half. 

The team effort came from more than the 3-pointers. Four different Aztecs were in the double-digits in points on Thursday night. Starters Gomez (14), Schakel (16) and senior forward Matt Mitchell (13) combined for 43 points.

Freshman guard Lamont Butler put up a career-tying 13 points off the bench, with junior guard Adam Seiko (9), sophomore forward Keshad Johnson (6) and senior forward Joshua Tomiac (8) also contributing.

Butler has been getting more playing time in the last few games, clocking in 20 or more game minutes in three of his last four games, and he’s making the most of his opportunities. Butler said his recent success isn’t a surprise to him. 

“I know my game; I know I can help this team win,” Butler said. “ I just feel like me being out there is normal to me.”

San Diego State’s victory wasn’t as much of an onslaught as it may appear to have been. The Aztecs were outscored 27-24 in the second half despite Wyoming only landing 26% of its shots.

Dutcher said he wasn’t satisfied with his team’s performance in the second half of Thursday’s game despite winning by a large margin, and believes his team can be better moving forward.  

“We won the first quarter convincingly, (but in the) second quarter (half) they beat us,” Dutcher said. “I am not very happy about that, but we have to play better.

“If I was just going on the first half, I would say it was a spectacular game, but we have room to grow as a team and we have to start doing that tomorrow.”

 With their win over Wyoming the Scarlet and Black are now on a three-game winning streak in which they have averaged 92 points a game. The Aztecs look to keep this trend alive this upcoming Saturday, Jan. 29 against Wyoming at Viejas Arena.  

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