Aztecs rain 19 threes and set SDSU history with its victory over Occidental

The 19 threes marked the school’s most in a game at Viejas Arena since the 1996-97 season and also tied Troy University for the most-ever threes scored in a game at the arena

Senior+Adam+Seiko+shoots+what+would+be+one+of+his+six+made+threes+against+Occidental+College+on+Friday+Dec.+2%2C+2022.

Senior Adam Seiko shoots what would be one of his six made threes against Occidental College on Friday Dec. 2, 2022.

by Morgan Prickett , Sports Editor

When the shots are falling, keep letting them fly!

That’s the philosophy No. 22 SDSU men’s basketball team came out with against (1-3) Division III Occidental College as the Aztecs chipped in a season-high 19 threes en route to a 95-57 victory. The 19 threes marked the school’s most in a game at Viejas Arena since the 1996-97 season and also tied Troy University for the most-ever threes scored in a game in the arena.

Senior Adam Seiko led the three-point barrage for the (6-2) Aztecs, ending the game with a game-high 20 points and six threes with five of them coming in the first half. Junior Micah Parrish added four threes of his own while senior Matt Bradley added three more.

“When Seiko’s open I think everybody in the arena thinks it’s going in,” head coach Brian Dutcher said.

Out of the Aztecs’ 67 shots, 37 of them were from behind the arc. The Aztecs season-high in threes this season was previously 10 in 21 attempts against Ohio State in Maui. They finished the first half against Occidental with 13 made threes on 22 attempts.

“It’s still early in the season and everyone’s starting to get in their groove so It was good to see it go in today at a high rate and everyone’s gonna keep letting it fly,” Seiko said.

Following a tough 72-69 outing against the UC Irvine Anteaters where the SDSU men’s basketball team left it late, the Aztecs had a much easier night ahead of them against Occidental College on Friday night.

A Parrish three-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining gave the Aztecs victory over a resilient 6-2 Irvine team who were recently crowned champions of the Las Vegas Holiday Classic Invite after defeating both Nicholls State and New Mexico State by double-digits. 

The Aztecs, ranked No. 15 nationally in adjusted defense according to Kenpom, played an Occidental team whose only other game against a Division I team this season ended in an emphatic 106-30 loss to UC Riverside.

Following an uneasy start to the game where the Aztecs trailed 5-3, they cooked up a 9-0 run and never trailed since. By the end of the half the Aztecs had built a stable 30-point lead at 59-29 behind a 17-point first half by Seiko.

“(Seiko) knows how to play, he’s been here for six years,” Dutcher said. “He knows where to pick and choose his spots and it’s now up to Darrion and Lamont to find ways to get him shots when he’s shooting like that.”

Occidental’s only hope came through senior Sydney Shipp and junior Aiden Williams who combined for 27 of Occidental’s 57 points and also combined for 23 of the team’s 57 field goal attempts.

Senior Keshad Johnson lifts off for an emphatic dunk in the first half against Occidental College on Friday Dec. 2, 2022.
Senior Keshad Johnson lifts off for an emphatic dunk in the first half against Occidental College on Friday Dec. 2, 2022. (Noelani Sapla)

The Aztecs continued to extend their lead in the second half and refused to pump the brakes on the three-point attempts. After shooting 22 threes in the first half, the Aztecs added 15 more attempts from behind the arc in the second and made six of them.

“The thing I like best about this is sometimes when you play a lower division team, you just want to try and bully over them and the beauty of what we did tonight is not play that way,” Dutcher said. “To move the ball, to make the extra pass, they played unselfishly so I thought that was very nice to see in a game like this.”

The Aztecs ended the game with 26 assists to Occidental’s 15.

The Aztecs were also without seniors Aguek Arop (knee) and Darrion Trammel (hamstring) due to minor injuries, yet clearly their services were not needed. 

Multiple Aztecs stepped up in their absence. Eight different players ended the game with six points or more and all 12 players on the gameday roster saw more than five minutes on the court. 

With the victory, the Aztecs extended their overall record against Occidental College to 26-8 and made it 11 wins in a row against the school.

The meeting was the 34th between the two schools and just the second time since the 1953-54 season. The most recent matchup, on Dec. 31, 2010 in Viejas Arena, saw the No. 7/7 Aztecs defeat Occidental with a similar score, 93-50.

Conveniently the Aztecs will play Troy University next, the only other team to ever score 19 threes at Viejas Arena. The game will be on Monday, Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. at Viejas Arena.

“(Occidental) was the first zone we have seen all year,” Dutcher said. ”So that is good because Troy plays some zone and they will zone us on Monday.”