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

Career nights highlight men’s basketball season opener against Cal State Fullerton

Jaedon LeDee, Micah Parrish, Elijah Saunders and Lamont Butler all set or tied career highs in San Diego State’s 83-57 win
Noelani Sapla
San Diego State forward Elijah Saunders emphatically dunks during the Aztecs’ 83-57 season opening win against Cal State Fullerton on Monday, Nov. 6 at Viejas Arena. The sophomore recorded career highs of 9 points and 2 steals in the game

Between Padres’ pitcher Joe Musgrove leading The Show in the “I believe that we will win” chant, the unveiling of the Mountain West and Final Four banners and the Aztecs dominating Cal State Fullerton in the second half of an 83-57 win, it was a madhouse at Viejas Arena on Monday night.

“We got San Diego State across our chest, so it means a lot to us,” said leading scorer, forward Jaedon LeDee.

He had 27 points, a new career high, and 10 rebounds for his third career double-double. According to, he became the seventh Aztec since the 1996-97 season with at least 27 points and 10 rebounds and the first since Jalen McDaniels had 30 and 13 against UNLV on Jan. 26, 2019.

Junior guard Micah Parrish equaled his career high with five three-pointers and four steals, while contributing 17 points (in 21 minutes), 6 rebounds and 3 assists.

“We play hard, we work hard,” Parrish said. “We set the tone. Everybody can feed off that energy.”

In his first game as an Aztec, transfer guard Reese Waters dropped 15 points. Forward Elijah Sauders scored a career-high nine points with five rebounds in 18 minutes. Senior guard Lamont Butler tallied eight points, four rebounds and tied his career-high of seven assists.

In the first half, the Aztecs scored the first 14 points before the Titans scored. However, as the game progressed, Cal State Fullerton had a 13-5 run and was able to catch up, trailing by two points at half-time, 37-35.

In the second half, the Aztecs used a run to push their lead above 20 points, which they held for the rest of the game.

“We are off and running, the journey has begun again,” said head coach Brian Dutcher.

The expectation from the veteran players was visible as the three seniors scored 52 of the Aztecs’ 87 points. Darrion Trammell dressed for the game but did not play. Sophomores Saunders, Myles Byrd and Demarshay Johnson Jr. got their feet wet in the game as well.

Dynamic transfers Waters and Jay Pal, and freshmen newcomers Miles Heide and BJ Davis had the first show of their flow for the season. They are finding their way into the Aztecs’ winning mentality by seeing all that is around them.

“You’re mixing a lot of different pieces in there and learning as you go,” Dutcher said. “The key to any season is winning while you learn. If that can happen, then it is a lot of fun.”

Senior guard DJ Brewton led the Titans with 13 points, two rebounds and six assists. San Diego State defeated Cal State Fullerton for the 24th time in the 34 times the programs have met.

Next, the Aztecs face the BYU Cougars on Friday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. at the J. Willard Marriott Center in Provo, Utah.

“We learned lessons and we won,” Dutcher said. “But we are going to learn lessons and lose at some point too, it’s what you do with those lessons. It’s just the first step in the journey.”

About the Contributors
Sumaia Wegner, '23-24 Managing Editor
Originally from Santa Clarita, California, Sumaia Wegner is a is a double major, studying Journalism and Communication.  She started as a staff writer for The Daily Aztec, then became Arts and Culture Editor, and is now the current Managing Editor. Aside from her leadership role, Sumaia is also a reporter for the men's basketball team. Last year she covered the Mountain West Championship as well as the NCAA Championship. Sumaia is the president of the Asian American Journalists Association (SDSU Chapter) as well as the vice president of Culture and Diversity for SDSU's College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts. She started her career as a journalist while she was traveling abroad in Bangladesh, where she was a writer for The Independent newspaper. She wrote for the “Youth and Independent” section focusing on narratives that evaluated eastern and western cultures. Sumaia has received the following awards for The Daily Aztec: "The Inspirer," "Quest for Excellence," and "Best Section." 
Noelani Sapla, Staff Photographer, '21-22 Photo Editor
Born and raised in San Diego, Noelani is a graduate student at San Diego State University working towards a masters degree in education. She joined the Daily Aztec staff as the photo editor for the 2021-2022 year, and is currently a staff photographer. She credits the Daily Aztec for the experience and opportunities to cover the NCAA tournament in Houston where the men's basketball team played in the national championship game. While having a degree in education and teaching, Noelani's dream is to become a professional sports photographer.