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 rallies to defeat UCI 63-62 after leading by as much as 16

Micah Parrish’s game-winning layup, his second game-winning shot against UC Irvine in two seasons, improved the Aztecs record to 8-2
Christie Yeung
San Diego State guard Micah Parrish celebrates with fans after the Aztecs’ 63-62 win over UC Irvine on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Viejas Arena. Parrish made the game-winning shot with 10.4 seconds remaining and scored 14 points in the game.

The San Diego State Aztecs men’s basketball team won their eighth game of the season after rallying to defeat UC Irvine 63-62 at Viejas Arena on Saturday, Dec. 9th.

SDSU (8-2) entered the game ranked No. 25 in the country after coming off their loss against Grand Canyon University on Tuesday. UCI (6-4) has taken two losses in a row, most recently falling to Utah State 79-69 last Saturday on Dec. 2.

Coming off of the bench, Jay Pal led the Aztecs in scoring with 15 points. Reese Waters led the team in rebounds with 12 and Micah Parrish led the team in assists with 3. Forward Jaedon LeDee was out for the game with an upper body injury.

In place of LeDee, head coach Brian Dutcher opted to have Miles Heide starting in his spot. Parrish spoke after the game about LeDee’s absence and having other players step up in his place.

“It was big having Demarshay Johnson Jr. and Miles Heide, who have not played too many college games,” Parrish said. “It was tough not having that experience there. For the most part, they did a good job with what they could do.”

To start the game, UCI got out to a quick 6-0 lead after two made 3-pointers by guard Justin Hohn. After coach Dutcher called a quick timeout two minutes into the game the Aztecs began to score right after a mid range jump shot that was converted by Lamont Butler.

SDSU started the game 4-for-4 from 3, with two of them being from Parrish. After being down early, the Aztecs controlled the rest of the first half and ended the half by shooting 11-for-23 from the field and were 56% from behind the arc. SDSU led 33-24 at the end of the half.

At the beginning of the second half, Elijah Saunders hit a 3-pointer and followed up with two jump shots that gave the Aztecs a 16-point lead. SDSU led 40-24 with 18 minutes left in the game before UCI began to mount a comeback.

San Diego State guard Jay Pal pulls up for a jump shot against UC Irvine on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Viejas Arena. Pal scored 15 points, the most he’s scored in a game for the Scarlet and Black. (Christie Yeung)

After Pal scored on a dunk with 15:14 left in the game, the Aztecs failed to score from the field for nearly 14 minutes. In that time, the Anteaters were able to claw their way back and eventually took the lead with 7:48 left in the game.

With 1:31 left in the game, UCI led SDSU 59-54 until Waters made a 3-pointer to end the Aztecs’ field goal drought. Pal stated after the game that no panic came upon the team during the scoring drought.

“We trust what we do at practice,” Pal said. “We have scenarios just like this during practice, so we knew just to stick it through and (we’re) glad we came out with a win.”

After Waters made his 3-point attempt, UCI quickly responded with a 3-pointer of their own by Hohn, who scored a game-high 16 points — it would be their last points of the game. Hohn was then sent to the free throw line after Parrish was called for a foul, but he missed both of his attempts.

The ball was rebounded by Waters, who then gave the ball to Trammell, who then made a clutch 3-pointer to trim the Anteaters lead to 62-61. With 27 seconds left, Waters stole the ball from Hohn and gave the Aztecs  a chance to take the last shot of the game.

With 16 seconds left, Trammell took a potential game-winning 3-point shot that was missed. The ball was rebounded by Pal, who then dumped it off to Parrish who then made a layup with 10.4 seconds left to give SDSU  a 63-62 lead.

Parrish was fouled when he took the shot and was sent to the line. However, he missed his free throw attempt and UCI rebounded the ball. Hohn took the last shot of the game for UCI but missed. The ball was rebounded by Butler as the time expired and SDSU won the game 63-62.

The Aztecs’ next game will be against Saint Katherine on Tuesday, Dec. 19 at Viejas Arena.

About the Contributor
Christie Yeung, Photographer
Born in Hong Kong, Christie Yeung is a first-generation transfer student who majors in journalism at San Diego State University. Prior to arriving at SDSU, she served as the Gaming/Tech Editor, Features Editor and Managing Editor of SAC Media at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California where she was placed in on-the-spot competitions such as fourth in News photo, second in Portrait photo, first in Sports photo, first in Social Media and second in News writing, along with a meritorious mention in the Enterprise News Story/Series category from Journalism Association of Community Colleges. She was also awarded second in Best Breaking News Stories by the California College Media Association. During her free time, she likes to watch European soccer games, read, listen to Cantonese-pop music and play video games and Dungeons & Dragons with her online friends. She also has a sweet tooth and cannot turn away anything with Nutella in it.