SDSU Mountain West NCAA
Lamont Butler scored 15 in the Aztecs’ win over Nevada. Photo credit: @Aztec_MBB

San Diego State, back in the national rankings, saw Nevada eat away at a 21-point lead, but held on for the 74-65 win Tuesday.

The victory left the No. 23 Aztecs alone atop the Mountain West, despite going without a field goal in the final five minutes of the game when the Wolf Pack outscored them 15-3.

Nevertheless, SDSU led wire-to-wire, and head coach Brian Dutcher told San Diego Sports 760 that he “never felt like we were in jeopardy.”

San Diego State opened up with a bang, as Keshad Johnson, with a steal off Nevada’s Darrion Williams and a follow-up dunk, sparked his team, which scored the first 10 points in the game.

The lead ballooned to 19 with less than two minutes to play in the half, on another turnover by Williams, as Johnson again capitalized with a dunk.

The Aztecs led 44-27 at the break, a good sign as they they have won 45 of the last 48 games in which they’ve held an advantage at the half.

SDSU spread the scoring around early as Matt Bradley led with 11, followed closely by Johnson with nine and Lamont Butler with eight.

The Aztecs started – and ended – the half cold as the Wolf Pack quickly cut the deficit to 12, thanks to two jumpers from Jarod Lucas, the second-top scorer in the MW, and a three by Williams.

After a 9-0 run around the 10-minute mark, however, San Diego State came up with their biggest lead of the game, making it 65-43 on another dunk, this time by Jaedon LeDee.

But the late scoring drought, broken up only by free throws by Adam Seiko and Micah Parrish, allowed Nevada to make it interesting. The Aztecs didn’t help themselves, committing six turnovers in the last four-plus minutes – three of them by Butler.

Bradley described the the team’s late play to Sports 760 as “a little helter skelter.” Dutcher said SDSU “showed some weakness against the press,” but also acknowledged “we have to finish … we have to hold ourselves to a higher standard.”

San Diego State, back in the national rankings, saw Nevada eat away at a 21-point lead, but held on for the 74-65 win Tuesday.

SDSU stays at home to welcome another strong team, New Mexico (15-2, 2-2 MW), though the Lobos have stumbled in conference play after a strong fall. The game starts at 6 p.m. Saturday.



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Ellen Bullock