San Diego State couldn’t hold onto a lead until more than halfway through the second half, and though BYU pushed back, the Aztecs made it stick Friday for the 82-75 win.
SDSU (2-0) played from behind for most of the game, after the Cougars opened hot, raining three-pointers down on them at Viejas Arena.
BYU (1-1) led by as much as 18-8 early, but the Aztecs cut the advantage to four at the half. San Diego State inched closer after the break, getting to within two of BYU, but the Cougars answered, and after two three-pointers by Gideon George and a hook shot by Fousseyni Traore, again had a 10-point lead.
Over the next seven minutes, though, the Aztecs clawed their way back into the game, culminating in a Darrion Trammell jumper nearing the eight-minute mark to put SDSU up 61-60.
BYU, however, didn’t quit, and the Aztecs were forced to overcome another six-point deficit; On a layup with 4:23 to play, Jaedon LeDee pushed San Diego State over the hump for good.
“In the fight you keep punching,” LeDee told San Diego Sports 760. “I just wanted to come in, change the tempo and punch back.”
Newcomers LeDee and Trammell led all scorers with 23 and 21 points respectively. LeDee’s mark was a career high. Nathan Mensah added a double-double, with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Aztecs also pressured the Cougars, resulting in 20 turnovers.
“To force 20 turnovers is big reason we won,” head coach Brian Dutcher told Sports 760.
Friday’s win followed SDSU’s season-opening 80-57 victory over Cal State Fullerton Monday. Trammell led the way against the Titans with 18 points, followed by LeDee and Lamont Butler with 11 each. Keshad Johnson suffered an injured shoulder in that game, and his play was limited to just seven minutes Friday.
The Aztecs continue navigating their imposing non-conference schedule when they hit the road to face Stanford at 6 p.m. Tuesday.