San Diego State had little trouble ending the run of March Madness darling Furman, getting 16 points from Micah Parrish to pace a balanced scoring attack and pulling away for a 75-52 win on Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Darrion Trammell had 13 points, Lamont Butler added 12 and leading scorer Matt Bradley finished with 10 for San Diego State (29-6), which is heading to its first Sweet 16 since 2004. The Aztecs have won 11 of their past 13 games and will play either Alabama or Maryland next week in the South Region semifinals in Louisville, Kentucky.
San Diego State forward Keshad Johnson (0) celebrates after their win against Furman in a second-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
San Diego State is the first Mountain West Conference team to reach the Sweet 16 since Nevada in 2018. It’ll be the third regional semifinal appearance for the Aztecs and the seventh for the Mountain West overall.
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Furman forward Jalen Slawson (20), forward Alex Williams (24) and forward Tyrese Hughey (15) leave the court after their loss to San Diego State in a second-round college basketball game in the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Two days after shrugging off cold shooting and overcoming a 12-point, second-half deficit to shock No. 4 seed Virginia 68-67 on JP Pegues’ bracket-busting 3-pointer, Furman was outmuscled and gradually worn down by the much more physical Aztecs.
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San Diego State players celebrate a teammate’s 3-pointer late in the second half of a second-round college basketball game against Furman in the NCAA Tournament, Saturday, March 18, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Southern Conference player and the year Jalen Slawson picked up his fourth foul with 16:27 remaining and fouled out shortly after returning midway through the second half. The super senior stomped the floor in protest, drawing a technical foul that gave San Diego State a pair of free throws that put the Aztecs up 60-37.
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Mike Bothwell led the 13th-seeded Paladins (28-8) with 15 points. Alex Williams had 11 and Pegues finished with 11 as Furman shot 32%, including 6 of 26 from 3-point range.