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

SDSU takes sole place atop the Mountain West after 20-point rout of Boise State at home

Aztecs’ relentless defense held Boise to just 52 points on just 37% shooting
Isabella Biunno
The Aztec men’s basketball team celebrate a win over rival Boise State on Feb. 3, 2023.

Coming off a tough loss away to Nevada last Tuesday, the San Diego State Aztecs hosted Boise State in arguably their biggest game of the season. They controlled the game right from tip-off, defeating the Broncos 72-52 to take over the number one spot in the Mountain West.

The SDSU crowd had Viejas Arena booming as over 12,400 people in attendance for the big game made their presence felt.

SDSU improved to 18-5 on the season and 9-2 in the Mountain West. The Aztecs’ press caused issues for Boise all game as they turned the ball over 12 times. The bench for SDSU played a huge role with head coach Brian Dutcher calling on his bench early and often, ending with a productive 31 points. 

SDSU had the size advantage in this matchup, and they used it all night. Senior center Nathan Mensah had 17 points on 4-4 shooting. It was his presence inside that made things difficult drawing 10 fouls and shooting 9-12 from the free throw line. 

“It’s because he was aggressive. I think two or three of them were because he was going to the offensive glass, and they had to push him to box him out,” Dutcher said. “I thought he played as good a game as he’s played all year tonight.”

Junior guard Lamont Butler started the night off with a steal and fastbreak score to set the tone early for SDSU. Senior guard Adam Seiko and senior forward Jaedon LeDee both came off the bench early for SDSU and made an immediate impact. They scored the Aztecs next seven points to give SDSU the lead and they did not trail again.

Mensah went on to score 10 of the next 15 Aztec points and give his team a 16-point lead midway through the first. 

It continued to be all SDSU through the first as Boise could not buy a three going 0-7 and shooting just 33% from the field. Late in the first, a pair of jumpers from Butler and Mensah extended SDSU’s lead to 23 points to close a dominant first half. 

“After the game (Nevada) I believe yesterday we all sat down and we’re true to ourselves, what we can do to bring the team up to the standard that San Diego State is known for.” Mensah said. “So, I felt like this coming game was something that I should have to make a statement saying Nathan is still here.”

It would be more of the same for the Aztecs as senior Keshad Johnson started the second half with an emphatic dunk. Then senior guard Darrion Trammell gave SDSU its largest lead of the game of 24 points after a strong finish in the paint. 

Trammell struggled shooting in this one going just 2-7 but he affected the game in other ways dishing out seven assists and constantly finding his bigs down low. 

“I came here to win and whatever the coaches need me to do, if my shots are not falling, I have to figure out how to impact the game in another way.” Trammell said. “I feel like that’s been my adjustment.”

SDSU held their ground not allowing any sense of let up for Boise State to make a comeback as the closest the Broncos could get was 16 points. 

This certainly was an important game but was also the Aztecs fourth game in 10 days making the dominant performance that much more impressive. Coach Dutcher made it clear that the bench would play a large role along with the impact a busy schedule has on the players.

“If they invest in the season, invest in the team, and invest in themselves, then we’re going to have a really good year. Now we’ve given them two days off– this was four games in 10 days, and it’s taxing,” Dutcher said. “As much as everyone says they’re young guys, they should be able to play every day, they’re student athletes.

“We have great depth, if you look at our minutes, they’re almost split exactly amongst the whole team. The players know that coming in, part of winning this year for us is our depth and maybe that’s why we had success in four games in 10 days.”

SDSU finished the game shooting 51% from the field despite struggling from the 3-point line going 4-18. The bench outscored the Broncos 31-16, a feat that has become common for this Aztec team.

SDSU will next travel to Logan, Utah on Feb. 8 to face Utah State once again in an important Mountain West matchup. The Aztecs won the previous matchup against the Aggies and hope to complete the season sweep of the nation’s number one 3-point shooting team.

About the Contributor
Isabella Biunno, '23-24 Photo Editor
Isabella Biunno (she/her/hers) is a photographer for The Daily Aztec. She is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada where she was a part of yearbook and publications for nearly six years. She is a first-year Psychology major with an emphasis in neuroscience, and she plans to go to graduate school for Occupational Therapy. She loves photography, editing, and creating, and she can’t wait to continue shooting content for the DA. One thing she is passionate about outside of photojournalism is being involved in the disability/Autism community. She is a part of SDSU’s Adapted Athletics club, and she worked as an Instructor at a company back home called Inclusion Fusion where she was able to work with people with disabilities. Although her career-related passions fall in the healthcare field, she enjoys taking pictures and covering photo events just as much. She looks forward to expanding her experience as a photographer as well as capturing some astounding shots this year.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
SDSU takes sole place atop the Mountain West after 20-point rout of Boise State at home