No. 22 San Diego State tightens up its defense to defeat Troy University

The Aztec men’s basketball team defeated the Trojans in a 60-55 win to avoid upset


Sophia O'Dell

Senior Darrion Trammell leading the Aztec attack against Troy at Viejas Arena on Dec. 5, 2022.

by Madison Cadena, Staff Writer

On Monday, Dec. 7, the Aztec men’s basketball team (7-2) struggled against the Troy University Trojans (6-4) but secured a comeback win of 60-55.

The Aztecs gained a 7-0 lead to start the game but it slowly began to disappear as the Trojans made seven 3-pointers in the first half taking a 33-29 lead to the locker room. But Aztecs head coach Brian Dutcher said he was happy with the defensive effort of his team that eventually carried San Diego State to victory as they held Troy to three 3-pointers in the second half. 

“We guarded like crazy tonight,” Dutcher said. “The key to the game is that Troy hit seven 3-pointers in the first half and if they would have made seven in the second half they would have won, but they only made two.” 

The Aztecs also struggled with 3-pointers as they only hit four— a big difference compared to their last game against Occidental College Tigers, on Dec. 2, where they were able to make 19.

Though the Aztecs may have struggled physically, mentally they were in the game. Before the game, Dutcher said he wrote on the board, “The toughest team always wins.” This was especially helpful as the Aztecs were trailing behind most of the game but stayed focused.

The Aztecs were led by senior guard Matt Bradley who had 19 points. Bradley had been struggling with his shot to start the season as he felt as if he was not playing to his full potential. This game he felt a difference. 

“Tonight I felt as if I stepped into that playmaker role,” Bradley said. “And that opened up my offense. I’m just out there playing, trying to have fun, and also give my teammates a chance to score too.” 

But it wasn’t only Bradley putting on the performance, senior guard Darrion Trammell scored a total of 14 points. However, this was not an easy feat for him. 

Trammell played this game coming off of a hamstring injury and sat out the prior game. Now he said he is “feeling a lot better, but it’s still nagging a little.” 

Throughout the game, the Aztecs felt as if they kept being denied by the Trojans. With 17 forced turnovers, it was hard for them to score, but the Aztecs kept the same game energy. They were able to force 17 Trojan turnovers themselves, keeping it a close contest. 

But eventually, the Aztec shooting woes ended.  

“The ball always finds the right person,” Trammell said. 

The Aztecs outscored the Trojans causing them to shoot only 32.8%, while the Aztecs shot 41.5% and made crucial shots down the stretch to secure a victory.

The No. 22 Aztec basketball team will face the Saint Mary’s Gaels in their next game on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 12 p.m. as they compete in the Jerry Colangelo Classic in Phoenix, Arizona.