Men’s basketball fire on all cylinders, beat Georgetown 73-56 in first round of Paycom Wooden Legacy tournament

Sophomore+guard+Lamont+Butler+%285%29+driving+through+the+lane+against+UT+Arlington.+Butler+had+16+points+on+6-of-6+shooting+against+Georgetown.

Jason Freund

Sophomore guard Lamont Butler (5) driving through the lane against UT Arlington. Butler had 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting against Georgetown.

by Jason Freund, Sports Editor

This was the San Diego State Aztecs team that head coach Brian Dutcher was expecting to see.

Against the Georgetown Hoyas (2-2) in their first match of the Paycom Wooden Legacy, the Aztecs (4-1) rediscovered their ability to shoot, sinking 48.3 percent of their field goals en route to a 73-56 victory.

Sophomore guard Lamont Butler was a crucial aspect to SDSU’s victory, shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the field while dropping 16 points, nine from beyond the three-point arc.

The first shot of the game was a three from Butler but as the game progressed, Georgetown took a slim four-point lead with 9:46 minutes remaining in the first half

Their lead, however, wasn’t large enough to keep the Aztecs at bay as the Scarlet and Black grappled their way to an eight-point lead heading into halftime.

The Hoyas wouldn’t back down in the second half, cutting SDSU’s lead to five in the opening minutes of the second half. 

A 12-2 run by the Aztecs was highlighted by two Butler three-pointers and a put-back dunk from senior forward Aguek Arop while senior guard Trey Pulliams’s two-point layup put SDSU back up top 56-42.

The Hoyas responded with an 11-1 run, taking advantage of shoddy shooting from the Aztecs and a string of shooting fouls to get within four points of SDSU.

It was the closest they would ever get to tying the Aztecs.

A volley of jump shots, timely free-throw shooting and a thunderous windmill dunk from the high-flying junior forward Keshod Johnson all but put Georgetown to bed and knocked them out of the championship.

After three straight performances of shooting below 40 percent on their field goals, including a putrid 34.8 percent against UT Arlington on Nov. 20, the Aztecs found their shooting stroke. The 48.3 percent field goal shooting was their highest this season while the 73 points scored was the highest amount of points scored by SDSU this season.

A glimmer of hope can be seen in the 43.8 percent three-point shooting. After struggling mightily from beyond the arc this season — including a terrible 2-of-11 against the University of Riverside — SDSU has made seven, six and six three-pointers in their last three matches.

Meanwhile, senior guard Matt Bradley continued to post solid scoring numbers as an Aztec, leading the team with 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting.

With the defeat of Georgetown, the Aztecs will be squaring off with No. 24 USC (5-0) after the Trojans casually dispatched the Saint Joseph’s Hawks 70-55 in their round of the Paycom Wooden Legacy.