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

No. 18 SDSU men’s basketball loses first game in nearly a month as they fall 66-60 to Boise State

Despite having the lead late in the second half, the Aztecs failed to score in the final three minutes to cost them in Boise
Isabella Biunno
Junior guard Lamont Butler drives on a Boise State defender in a game versus Boise State on Feb. 3.

After clinching a share of the Mountain West title last Saturday in its win against New Mexico, the No. 18 San Diego State men’s basketball team looked to win the conference outright with a win against the Boise State Broncos. Despite having the lead the majority of the game, SDSU fell short, suffering just its third Mountain West loss of the season, 66-60. 

The Aztecs controlled the game early as they led for the majority of the first half and held a three-point first-half lead. The Broncos were relentless in the second half however, led by leading scorer Max Rice. Rice had a game-high 26 points and hit many clutch 3-pointers down the stretch for Boise.

The Aztecs struggled to close out the game as they made multiple unforced errors that hurt them when it mattered most which head coach Brian Dutcher made note of.

“We didn’t execute down the stretch,” Dutcher said. “You know, when we did get stopped, we didn’t get rebounds. We got rebounds, we turned it over on outlet passes, and then we ran two set plays that we didn’t execute and turned the ball over on it. So, we got exactly what we deserved.”

SDSU senior guard Darrion Trammell picked up right where he left off Saturday and opened up the scoring for the Aztecs with a 3-pointer. After a basket from senior guard Matt Bradley, SDSU jumped out to an early 11-4 lead.

Rice however responded with his first of five 3-pointers to cut down the early Aztec advantage. 

Both teams went on a scoring drought midway through the first half that nearly lasted three minutes. Then Boise sophomore Tyson Degenhart got the scoring back on with another Bronco 3-pointer to which Bradley answered with one of his own. Degenhart came back down and hit another from behind the arc to make it a 19-16 with just over six minutes to go.

The two Mountain West rivals finished out the half strong and SDSU entered the break leading 30-27.

After back-to-back baskets from fifth-year Marcus Shaver Jr., Boise State took back the lead early in the second half. Senior forward Jaedon Ledee and Bradley scored the Aztecs next 11 points to give SDSU its largest lead to that point 43-35 and force a Bronco timeout.

The Aztecs were keeping distance from Boise for the next nine minutes in which after an and-one finish from junior Micah Parrish, SDSU took a comfortable 60-52 lead with just under five minutes to go.

These were SDSU’s last points of the game and it became the Max Rice show from that point on.

Rice scored 14 unanswered points including three straight 3-pointers to overcome the SDSU deficit and regain a four point lead, 64-60. Shaver Jr. made two free throws to make it 66-60 and ultimately close out the Aztecs and complete the comeback.

“It’s just execution. We’ve won one possession games, but you always remember the ones you lose,” Dutcher said. “We’re the only team in the conference with a winning record on the road. So we’re 7-2 and they haven’t lost a home game in conference. So this was a tough task.”  

In what seemed to be yet another road win for the Aztecs, they went 0-5 with three turnovers in crunch time and let the game slip away.

“Disappointing,” junior guard Lamont Butler said.“You know we wanted to come here and win (the outright league championship) tonight but we didn’t make enough plays at the end of the game to do it and unfortunately they did.They made some big-time plays. (Max) Rice made some big threes, and they got a bunch of offensive rebounds. So credit to them, they did a good job and we didn’t.”

SDSU has the opportunity to bounce back and win the Mountain West outright as they close their regular season out at home on Saturday March 4, at 7:00 pm for their senior night.

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
No. 18 SDSU men’s basketball loses first game in nearly a month as they fall 66-60 to Boise State