Jaedon LeDee had another monster game for San Diego State Sunday. And yet it was just barely enough to lead them to a 100-97 overtime victory over Washington.
LeDee, with a career high with 34 points and 17 rebounds, did a little bit of everything, including steals and some Jaedon jams.
Assistant Coach Chris Acker told San Diego Sports 760 that it wasn’t easy, but, “ultimately, we’ll be able to celebrate this and know we came out with a victory.”
Both teams entered the championship game of the Continental Tire Main Event tournament in Las Vegas with a record of 3-1, SDSU after a win over St. Mary’s and Washington following defeating Xavier.
The latest win could boost the Aztecs back into the Top 25 of the national polls. They had been ranked #17 in the Associated Press poll but dropped out two weeks ago after suffering their first loss, to BYU.
The teams started off by trading buckets, keeping the game close in the first few minutes. LeDee stayed hot, on the way to pacing the team with 13 points in the first half. He gave the Aztecs their first lead of the game, 9-8, with 16:10 on the clock.
But the Huskies hung around, thanks to early three-pointers and 75% shooting on free throws.
The Huskies took their largest lead of the game after a dunk by big man Frank Kepnang put them up by seven. But as halftime approached, the Aztecs turned up the pace, going on a 6-0 run.
Then, seconds before the break, forward Micah Parrish stole the ball and guard Darrion Trammell hit a fall-away jumper for three points giving the Aztecs a 43-40 lead going into the half.
When the Aztecs returned to the court, they built their lead to seven, but the Huskies fought back, going on their own 6-0 run. They eventually took the lead but a three-pointer from Miles Byrd, his first of the year, followed by a Jay Pal bucket, put the Aztecs back in front.
The Huskies eventually came back to tie it, but another basket from Pal and a three from Parrish pushed the Aztecs out further. LeDee heated up, getting three baskets in a row for a 71-64 lead, to tie the Aztecs’ largest advantage of the game.
And then the Aztecs opened the throttle even further, going on a 7-0 run, capped by a steal and slam from Lamont Butler, giving them a 12-point lead with 5:12 to go. With time running out, Washington tried to press the Aztecs and they partially succeeded, but another Jaedon jam kept the lead in double digits with three minutes to go.
Everything was going the Aztecs’ way. Until it wasn’t.
Washington, pressing the Aztecs, went on a 6-0 run. Then, a foul by LeDee – after an apparent non-call on a possible foul on Reese Waters – with just seconds left allowed the Huskies to tie the game at 85 and send it to overtime.
The Huskies took the lead in overtime, with Keion Brooks, who hit jumpers on three straight possessions, leading the scoring. But LeDee again responded, hitting six key free throws and two baskets, the second of which allowing the Aztecs to go up 98-97. It was their first lead in OT, with just 36 seconds left.
Then Butler stole the ball, leading to two free throws by Waters that sealed the game for the Aztecs. Washington’s Moses Wood missed a three that could have tied the game at the buzzer.
Acker credited Washington and their defense, but said the Aztecs were resilient. As for LeDee, he said he’s been most impressed by his rebounding.
“I’ve just seen a guy that’s let the game come to him. Minus the BYU game, he hasn’t forced anything,” Acker said.
In Main Event’s consolation game, which preceded the SDSU contest, Xavier defeated St. Mary’s 66-49.
Up next for the Aztecs is Cal at a neutral site, San Juan Capistrano for the SoCal Showcase. Tipoff is at 4 p.m. Saturday.