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

Men’s basketball sails to 71-51 victory against Point Loma

Monday’s matchup marked the first time the teams faced each other since 2012
Isabella Biunno
San Diego State forward Jaedon LeDee throws down a dunk during the first half against Point Loma Nazarene on Monday, Nov. 27 at Viejas Arena.

After two dramatic overtime victories, a comfortable win was exactly what the Aztecs needed.

San Diego State’s men’s basketball team defeated Point Loma Nazarene, 71-51, improving their record to 6-1 on the year.

“Overtime games do take a wear and tear on you, but we love games like that,” said guard Lamont Butler, who contributed 10 points. “We love high competition. Of course, we don’t want to go into overtime — we want to win in two halves — but tonight we just went out with the mentality that we were gonna win from the jump.”

Point Loma is coming off a 29-4 record last year, earning them the no. 8 spot in CBB Nation’s DII Preseason Poll. This loss to the Aztecs brings their record to 4-3 on the year.

The Aztecs only trailed for the first 3:06 of the game and held possession of the lead for the remainder of the contest.

Much of their first-half success can be attributed to their shots beyond the arc. Just shy of the 10-minute mark of the game, SDSU shot 6-of-8 on 3-pointers. The Sea Lions sank six 3-pointers, but missed 14 of them. Only nine of their first 29 first-half shots were 2-point tries.

The Sea Lions took advantage of the Aztecs’ fouling woes to cut the score to 32-26 with less than five minutes on the clock, but SDSU promptly responded with nine points to pad their lead at the half, 41-26.

At the half, SDSU outscored PLNU 18-2 in the paint and led in turnovers, 8-0. Guard Luke Smith led Point Loma’s scoring with 14 points, shooting 4-of-5 from three. Forward Jaedon LeDee turned in a first-half double-double for San Diego State with 13 points to pair with 10 rebounds.

SDSU maintained its lead in the second half, outscoring PLNU 30-25. The Scarlet and Black’s lead grew to as much as 26 points as they went ahead 71-45 with 2:03 remaining in the second half.

LeDee led the Aztecs in scoring, contributing a total of 15 points. Guard Reese Waters, who was named SoCal Showcase MVP in SDSU’s win against Cal last week, shot 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and dropped 14 points.

In all, the Aztecs led the Sea Lions in points in the paint (36-14), bench points (23-8), turnovers (14-4) and fast break points (4-0).

Butler said that ball movement and getting physical in the paint were crucial to the win.

“We did have a lot of assists tonight (and) we were moving the ball at a high level,” Butler said. “Jaedon killed the rebounds again, we had some other bigs who were killing the glass.”

The Aztecs held the opposing Sea Lions to 29.3% from the field. SDSU finished the game with a field goal percentage of 45.6%, but cooled off from three, only making 2-of-12 second-half shots.

Coach Brian Dutcher was happy with the result, but said there are ways in which the team can improve as they approach conference play.

“I thought we could have played better,” Dutcher said. “Some of the mistakes you make in a game like this you can’t make against a title contender from your conference… so we’re trying to play to our standard, instead of just the score or who we’re playing.”

This was the first matchup between SDSU and PLNU since Dec. 19, 2022 — a game the Aztecs won, 76-49. San Diego now improves to 10-5 against Point Loma, with the Sea Lions’ most recent victories coming in the 1964-1965 season.

“We played some dangerous teams, so I’m pretty pleased with where we’re at right now. But the wins and losses aren’t as important as how we’re playing,” Dutcher said. “We have to continue to get better, and I think we will.”

The Aztecs are back in action on Friday, Dec. 1, as they take on UC San Diego on the road.

About the Contributors
Noah Lyons, '23-24 Opinion Editor
Noah Lyons (he/him) is a Journalism major and transfer student from Irvine, California. Ever since he was young, he loved to tell stories and dive deep into his favorite subjects — sports, music, current events, and film. He joined the Daily Aztec in 2022, and has since covered the Wonderfront and Rolling Loud music festivals, attended advanced movie screenings and interviewed several musicians. When he isn't doing homework until midnight or writing articles, you can expect to see Noah searching for the best California burritos that San Diego has to offer or walking around campus listening to Bleachers and Paramore.
Isabella Biunno
Isabella Biunno, '24-25 Managing Editor, '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.