The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

SDSU plays loose to dominate Yale in NCAA Tournament round two

Aztecs nearly shoot 50% in convincing win
SDSU forward Jaedon LeDee dunks the ball during a second-round match against Yale, March 24, 2024, in Spokane, Wash.

After surviving UAB in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, San Diego State looked far more comfortable in its round two domination of Yale, winning 85-57 to advance to the Sweet 16. 

SDSU starting forward Jaedon LeDee said the team got the win because they were more comfortable and confident. The first round brings out the nerves and, with it, the struggles that prove it to be the hardest game regardless of the opponent. 

But, in round two, the team played more relaxed from the opening tip. 

“These two guys next to me, we got experience from last year, so we knew to weather the storm for the first game and the second game, we were ready to play and [were] a lot more relaxed,” LeDee said. 

That relaxed playstyle led to a convincing win for the Aztecs. A team that has shot just 31.8% from three over the 2023–24 season, they went 13-of-27 from deep against the Bulldogs, a percentage of 48%. 

It’s their second-highest single-game three-point percentage of the season and the first time they’ve shot over 42% in over a month.

“I would like to tip my hat off to San Diego State. They played a tremendous game today. They’re not known to be a great three-point shooting team, but they saw me coming and they figured they would make ’em all today,” Yale head coach James Jones said. 

Yale guard August Mahoney wipes sweat off of his forehead during a timeout in a second-round match against SDSU, March 24, 2024, in Spokane, Wash.

Jones had the difficult task of managing a game that almost immediately got out of hand. SDSU scored the first 10 points of the game, creating a double-digit lead in the first three minutes of play. 

After Yale cut the deficit to 17-12 and finally got their footing, SDSU crushed their hopes, going on a 11-0 run to make the lead 16. Following that up with another run, this time 11-2, the halftime lead was already 24 points. 

After the opening bucket 48 seconds into the game, SDSU led and never let go. All things said, they led for 39:03 minutes, pure and utter domination. They scored on 54.5% of their possessions, averaging 1.288 points per possession. They got 25 points from their bench, 22 points in transition and only missed three free throws.

SDSU played well on both sides of the ball, stifling the Yale offense while also hitting their shots. But the end of the game, Jones transitioned the huddle to talking about life lessons, rather than basketball. 

“I told ’em in the huddle, basketball gives you life lessons and the lesson that we learned today is that everything’s not going to be sunshine and roses for you. You have to fight through,” Jones said. 

Just two Yale players managed double-digit performances, with the team shooting just 37.0% from the field and 36.8% from three in the loss. 

Similarly, the Aztecs also had just two players finish with double digits, but their leading scorer, LeDee, dropped 26 points while shooting 75% from the field and Darrion Trammell had 18 points in the win. 

SDSU forward Jaedon LeDee shoots the ball during a second-round match against Yale, March 24, 2024, in Spokane, Wash.

Trammell has averaged just 7.9 points per game this season, with the 18 points he scored against Yale being his season-best total. While the brights might be too much for some players, he feeds off the energy of the big game. 

“I love the competition. I love a chance to show who I am, where I come from. It’s an opportunity to do that. Just, I think that’s what makes me play better in this time with so much confidence,” Trammell said. 

Confidence will be necessary as SDSU looks toward their next matchup, as they face No. 1-seeded UConn for a chance at the Elite 8.

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About the Contributors
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.
COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.