San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Adam Seiko’s 25-point eruption pushes the Aztecs to an impressive win over Utah State

The Aztecs outshot the nation’s number one 3-point shooting team hitting 55% from behind the arc
Madison Cadena
Senior guard Adam Seiko shoots a 3-pointer versus Utah State on Jan. 25.

It was Adam Seiko’s game at Viejas Arena Wednesday night as the senior guard set a career-high with 25 points including 18 in the first half. A loud SDSU crowd showed out for their Aztecs during the 85-75 win over Mountain West rival Utah State University. 

San Diego State controlled the game all night, leading by as much as 20 points to make a statement and mark three straight victories. This also was the start of a busy stretch for the Aztecs being the first of four games in the next 10 days.

Senior Keshad Johnson got things started for SDSU right off the tip snatching a huge block during their first defensive possession. He then came right back down the court and finished an and-one tip-in to give SDSU an early lead. 

After the game’s first break, Seiko checked into the game and made his presence felt immediately. The senior finished with one of the most impressive shooting performances in recent Aztec history— hitting five straight 3-pointers in seven minutes off the bench.

Seiko accounted for 15 of the Aztecs’ next 17 points after checking into the game, giving them a convincing 26-11 first half lead. 

“7 for 7, it just felt like I was shooting into the ocean tonight,” Seiko said. “It’s my job to try and find space on the floor, my guys did a good job at finding me and I just feel high energy.”

Seiko had previously been out due to an illness but he returned to the court looking better than ever finishing the first half 6-6 from behind the arc with 18 points.

“I was able to shoot on Monday, not at our facilities but at a park,” Seiko said. “I was just trying to get healthy and go on jogs to keep my stamina up.”

SDSU was efficient right from tip-off and went on an 18-point run to lead 30-11 midway through the first. 

Senior forward Jaedon LeDee finished a powerful and-one dunk on two Aggie defenders to give SDSU their biggest lead of the game 37-17.

The half closed out with an unsurprising sight of yet another Seiko 3-pointer to capitalize his perfect shooting half. 

Utah State came into the game 16-4 as the nation’s best 3-point shooting team but the Aztecs’ energetic defense held the Aggies to just 20% behind the arc on 4-20 shooting. It instead was SDSU that made the difference from 3-point land going 7-13 in the first half. 

“Sometimes you gotta just live with a contested 3-point shot,” Johnson said. “They’re up there in the rankings with us, so we knew how big it was to get a win at our home place.”

Johnson notched his second double-double in as many games against Utah State and was a force all night, especially on the offensive glass. The senior finished the game with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

“He was just going to the glass, sometimes you just have to have a nose for the ball and that’s what Keshad did,” head coach Brian Dutcher said. “Most of his rebounds weren’t above the rim, they were bouncing off and he was running under guys and he had a nose for the ball.”

Johnson started strong in the second half with back-to-back offensive rebounds as SDSU extended its lead to 18. However, the Aggies finally got going as forward Taylor Funk hit back-to-back baskets to cut the lead down to 10.

The Aztecs were forced to call a timeout to slow down the Utah State run, allowing Dutcher to bring Seiko back into the game. 

Seiko had not cooled down at halftime as he immediately hit his seventh 3-pointer of the game and started a nine-point Aztec run. The lead went back up to 15 halfway through the second half after guards Lamont Butler and DarrionTrammell both hit three’s of their own.

Utah State showed Viejas why they are the top 3-point shooting team in the country as with 7:00 minutes remaining, the Aggies were 6-10 in the half and cut the lead down to single digits. 

Funk hit contested shot after contested shot to get his team within six points at 74-68. SDSU had an answer for Utah State’s comeback attempt as once again, Butler and Trammell hit big shots down the stretch to keep the lead.

Seiko closed out Utah State with back-to-back perfect trips to the free throw line to secure SDSU’s 85-75 win.

“Credit to Utah State. We knew they weren’t going to go away quietly, and we know what’s in store for us in a couple of weeks when we go back and play at their place,” Dutcher said. “This conference is unforgiving. And I’m grateful that we came away with a win.”

SDSU improved to 16-4 in the season and hosts San Jose State this Saturday at 6 p.m. at Viejas Arena.

About the Contributor
Madison Cadena
Madison Cadena, '24 -25 Editor-in-Chief, '23 -24 Broadcast Live Producer
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Adam Seiko’s 25-point eruption pushes the Aztecs to an impressive win over Utah State