Aztecs down UNLV in overtime in MW quarterfinals

SDSU advances to Friday's semifinal match against Utah State.

Thursday, March 14, 2024
SDSU men's basketball player Jaedon LeDee dunks over a UNLV defender during their quaterfinals match. (SDSU)
SDSU's Jaedon LeDee dunks over an UNLV defender during their quarterfinals match. The Aztecs won 74-71 and will face Utah State on Friday night. (SDSU)

Jaedon LeDee knocked down a jumper with 14 seconds left in overtime to give San Diego State University the lead and added two free throws to set the final margin as the Aztecs topped UNLV 74-71 in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament on Thursday.

SDSU advances to Friday's semifinals, where it will face Utah State, which needed overtime to get past Fresno State 87-75.

LeDee scored 34 points, a school record for a Mountain West tournament game, including seven in overtime, and added 16 rebounds for the Aztecs (23-9). Lamont Butler scored 12 points, finishing 5 of 8 from the floor. Darrion Trammell shot 4 for 9, including 3 for 4 from beyond the arc to finish with 11 points to go with a season-high five steals.

The Rebels (19-12) were led in scoring by Dedan Thomas Jr., who finished with 29 points and five assists. UNLV also got 17 points, eight rebounds and four blocks from Keylan Boone. Justin Webster finished with 14 points. The loss snapped the Rebels' five-game winning streak.

LeDee scored nine points in the first half as San Diego State went into halftime trailing 27-22. For the sixth time this season, Trammell made a field goal in the final three seconds of the first half as he closed the Aztecs' deficit to five points at the break. LeDee's 18-point second half helped San Diego State finish off the three-point victory.

San Diego State was dominant on the glass, outrebounding UNLV 50-31 and outscoring the Rebels 20-8 on second-chance points. The Aztecs were better in the paint by a 32-20 scoring margin. SDSU also excelled in transition, with nine steals to UNLV's four and 11 points to the Rebels' four on fast breaks.

UNLV was the better shooting team in the game, with a higher percentage than SDSU from the field (40.0%-36.6%), from beyond the arc (36.8%-26.1%) and from the free throw line (75.9%-61.5%).

San Diego State's semifinal matchup with Utah State is slated for 6:30 p.m. on Friday. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network and San Diego Sports 760.

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