Boise State shocks SDSU in overtime thriller, 79-77

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
The Aztecs failed to get the job done and suffered their first home loss all season long.

The San Diego State Aztecs welcomed Boise State to town on senior night for the last game of the regular season. It was a competitive back-and-forth game between two squads fighting for ground in the Mountain West. The first half was a competitive one, with the biggest lead for either squad being just 5 points.

The Broncos would take the 33-31 lead into half as they held on with the slim edge. In a wild second half, however, the Aztecs would take the momentum into the final minutes. Lamont Butler’s layup with 1:15 left in the game gave San Diego a 70-67 lead as they tried their best to hang on and escape with a slim victory. However, Chibuzo Abgo would drill a highly contested corner three to tie the game at 70 for Boise State and put the pressure back on the Aztecs.

Lamont Butler would once again come through as he drilled a pair of clutch free throws to make it 72-70. With 7 seconds left, Roddie Anderson III got the bounce on a clutch layup to tie the game and force a 72-72 game into overtime. After a slow start for the Aztecs in the extra 5 minutes, they finally scored their first bucket on a Micah Parrish layup to make it 77-74 in favor of the Broncos. San Diego would then get a clutch stop and Darrion Trammell drained a game-tying three as the arena erupted. Unfortunately, the Aztecs would get caught fouling with 1.7 left and Cam Martin sunk the dagger free throws for Boise State. The desperation heave from three for the Aztecs was blocked by Martin as well, and the squad fell 79-77.

Here are three takeaways from the game:

LeDee leads the way, fouls out in crunch time

With the Aztecs looking to deliver in front of the home crowd on senior night, Jaedon LeDee made sure he was getting his buckets. The senior finished as the game’s leading scorer as he lifted the Aztecs on the offensive end all night long. He poured in 21 points on a 9-15 shooting night from the field and also added 6 rebounds.

Unfortunately, his commanding work was not enough to get the squad over the hump. In the final seconds of a tie game in overtime, LeDee was called for the foul on Cam Martin, who would go on to drill both free throws to ice the game for Boise State. It was his 5th foul, sending him to the bench as he watched his Aztecs fall just short in a heartbreaking loss. Nonetheless, it was an amazing season for LeDee, who led the storm all year for San Diego State. Prior to Friday night’s contest, he had been averaging 20.5 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game. LeDee and the rest of the team will now turn their heads towards putting together a run in the conference tournament and solidifying themselves as a true threat in the NCAA Tournament.

The Aztecs’ home win streak comes to an end

The last time that San Diego State had lost a basketball game on their home floor prior to Friday night was a whopping 20 games ago. They had been virtually unbeatable at Viejas Arena this season and were looking to cap off an undefeated regular season run at home this year with one final victory over Boise State. However, some dramatic moments late in the game turned the tide against the Aztecs as they watched the game slip away in the final moments. They were handed a 79-77 loss, and it was their first at home in 20 contests. One of the marquee moments for the Broncos in overtime came at the two-minute mark with the Aztecs already down 74-72. As the Boise State shot clock slowly trickled down toward zero, Max Rice was forced to throw up a one-handed heave from the logo. With fate on his side, he drained the shot and gave Boise State a huge 5-point cushion.

The game certainly gave off March Madness vibes, and hopefully, it was just a mere preview of what’s to come later this month. The win helped the Broncos to pull within half of a game of first place in the Mountain West, and they will have to hope for a Utah State loss tomorrow if they wish to share a piece of the conference title. The Aztecs, however, sit in fifth in the conference and will have their work cut out for them in the tournament. After a wild loss on Friday night, San Diego State should definitely be motivated to bring home the Mountain West title and gear up for a potential rematch against Boise State.

San Diego State struggles from the three-point line

Perhaps the results of Friday’s thriller would have been different for the Aztecs if they had brought a sharper performance with their shooting from beyond the arc. They threw up 25 three-pointers throughout the course of the game, yet only managed to knock down 6 of them. This was good for a 24% night from distance, which was not nearly good enough to keep up with the 40.7% pace from three set by Boise State. While the Aztecs did struggle, they managed to knock down one big three-pointer when it counted courtesy of Darrion Trammell III. He would drill a game-tying three with 19 seconds in overtime before the Broncos managed to go the other way and draw a foul. It will be a rough stat for the Aztecs to look back on as they try and figure out where things went wrong, and they will need to bring a much better three-point effort for the rest of the month if they even want to think about having a second consecutive magical month of March.

The Mountain West Tournament is set to begin on Wednesday, March 13 as San Diego State will be back in action and look to bring the title to San Diego. A solid showing in the tournament will go a long way toward earning an even better seed in the NCAA tournament as the Aztecs will do their best to get back to the final four and beyond.