No. 5 San Diego St. blasts No. 13 Yale, 85-57

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 25 Mar, 2024 at 06:00 AM

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jaedon LeDee recorded 26 points and nine rebounds and San Diego State never trailed while posting an 85-57 victory over Yale on Sunday night at Spokane, Wash., in second-round play in the East Region of the NCAA Tournament.

Darrion Trammell established season highs of 18 points and four 3-pointers for the fifth-seeded Aztecs (26-10). San Diego State made a season-best 13 treys (in 27 attempts) and led by as many as 31 points.

"I like the fact we made some threes," San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher said. "We're dysfunctional at shooting sometimes. When one guy makes them, we all make them, so hopefully that continues."

Bez Mbeng scored 12 points and Matt Knowling added 11 for 13th-seeded Yale (23-10). John Poulakidas was scoreless in the first half and had just nine points on 2-of-9 shooting for the Bulldogs.

"They're not known to be a great 3-point shooting team, but they saw me coming and they figured they would make them all today," Yale coach James Jones said of the Aztecs' sharpshooting.

Poulakidas scored 28 points in the Bulldogs' stunning 78-76 upset of fourth-seeded Auburn in the first round on Friday. That victory was Yale's second NCAA tourney win in school history.

San Diego State will face No. 1 seed UConn in the Sweet 16 on Thursday in Boston. It is a rematch of last season's national championship game won by the Huskies.

"We're heading on the road to play a road game against UConn in Boston and I've got a group that I think will be up for the task," Dutcher said.

The Aztecs, who shot 52.7 percent overall and held a 39-25 rebounding advantage, have reached the Sweet 16 in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history.

The Bulldogs shot 37 percent from the field, including 7 of 19 from behind the arc.

"It hurts a lot right now. I think we had big expectations and got a little greedy," Knowling said. "We wanted more, we knew we could get more," Knowling said. "But I'm really proud of our guys and the team and what we were able to accomplish this year."

LeDee had 17 points and seven rebounds in the first half as the Aztecs led 45-21 at the break.

San Diego State scored the first 10 points of the game and never again was threatened.

LeDee delivered back-to-back dunks to cap an 11-0 surge to give the Aztecs a 28-12 advantage with 8:15 remaining in the first half.

Trammell accounted for the final points of the half with a four-point play with 43.5 seconds left.

Poulakidas made three free throws 63 seconds into the second half for his first points. His first made field goal came when he drained a 3-pointer with 16:20 left to cap an 8-0 run that left Yale trailing by 21.

A 3-pointer by San Diego State's Miles Byrd pushed the lead to 30 for the first time at 71-41 with 9:25 remaining.

--Field Level Media