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San Diego State uses big games from Waters, LeDee to topple No. 13 Gonzaga 84-74

Darrion Trammell
Nolan Hickman
Anton Watson
Lamont Butler
Posted at 8:48 PM, Dec 29, 2023

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Reese Waters scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half, Jaedon LeDee added 20 points, and San Diego State used a big second half to beat No. 13 Gonzaga 84-74 on Friday night.

The Aztecs (11-2) won their fourth straight and dominated big stretches late in the first half and early in the second half to take the nonconference matchup between two of the better programs on the West Coast.

San Diego State handed Gonzaga (9-4) its first nonconference loss on its home floor since falling to UCLA on Dec. 12, 2015. It was just the third home loss overall for the Zags since the start of the 2017 season and their first double-digit home loss since falling to Illinois 85-74 in December 2012.

Darrion Trammell added a season-high 17 points, including 15 in the first half, and kept the Aztecs hanging around through some early struggles. But it was the end of the first half and the start of the second half when the Aztecs took control and built a big enough lead to withstand Gonzaga’s late rally.

The Aztecs closed the first half on an 11-2 run to take a 38-37 lead at the break, then used an 18-3 run early in the second half to take a 62-47 lead with 13:25 left after Miles Byrd’s fastbreak layup.

Graham Ike led Gonzaga with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Anton Watson added 16 points and Ryan Nembhard scored 15 points. The Bulldogs trimmed the 15-point deficit to 71-67 after Nembhard’s baseline jumper with 5:43 left.

But Byrd answered with a 3-pointer from the corner and LeDee scored on the fastbreak to quickly push the Aztecs advantage back to nine.

BIG PICTURE

San Diego State: Waters missed a free throw in the final minute of the game. It was his first miss of the season after making his first 43 attempts. The Aztecs were 12 of 16 at the free-throw line.

Gonzaga: The Zags 3-point shooting continues to be a problem. Gonzaga was 5 of 19 on 3s and failed to shoot better than 30% from behind the 3-point line for the fifth straight game.

UP NEXT

San Diego State: The Aztecs open Mountain West play, hosting Fresno State next Wednesday.

Gonzaga: The Bulldogs open WCC play facing Pepperdine next Thursday across town at the Spokane Arena.