SAN DIEGO (AP) — Micah Parrish made a layup with 10.4 seconds left for No. 25 San Diego State, which blew a 16-point lead before rallying to beat scrappy UC Irvine 63-62 on Saturday night.
Darrion Trammell missed a 3-pointer, Jay Pal rebounded and fed Parrish, who made the bucket and drew a foul. He missed the free throw, UC Irvine rebounded and Justin Hohn missed a 3-pointer with about four seconds left.
“UC Irvine, they play hard and have a good team and got after us,” Parrish said. “Without the offensive rebound by Jay Pal it wouldn’t happen. It was a team effort.”
The Aztecs (8-2) were playing without Jaedon LeDee, the nation's sixth-leading scorer, and went nearly 14 minutes without a field goal as they watched their lead shrink and then disappear.
Hohn banked in a 3-pointer with 58.4 seconds left for a 62-57 lead but missed two free throws with 41.5 seconds to go. Pal made a free throw and Trammell hit a 3-pointer with 30.5 seconds to pull the Aztecs within one before Parrish's winning shot.
“If you didn't have a vested interest, if you weren't the Aztec coach or an Aztec fan, you'd be, ‘Man, this is exciting.’ ” SDSU coach Brian Dutcher said. "But I wanted to win. So it's exciting that we won.
“I tell the kids the same thing every year when we're in a tight game like this and we're down five, 'We're going to have 15 more games that are just like this,' ” Dutcher said. “It's going to be anybody's game to win with five minutes to go and we have to find a way to make enough plays to win. And we did.”
This was the second straight game in which the Aztecs gave up 50% shooting in the second half and were outrebounded.
“There were enough mistakes to teach to, but the joy of winning and the joy of competing is so great that nine days off, I'm going to enjoy every minute of it, thinking of this game," Dutcher said.”
Pal scored 15 points off the bench while Parrish had 14. Reese Waters had 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Trammell had 10 points.
Hohn had 16 and Derin Saran 14 for UC Irvine (6-4), which lost its third straight game. Prior to that, the Anteaters had won six straight, including a 10-point upset win at then-No. 16 Southern California on Nov. 14.
SDSU beat the Anteaters for the second straight season.
The Aztecs led 42-26 with 16:40 left before the Anteaters came racing back behind Saran to tie it at 50-50. The Anteaters then took the lead on a 3-pointer by Hohn.
UC Irvine: The Anteaters got off to a fast start with two 3-pointers by Hohn, who then made a layup for an 8-2 lead just more than two minutes in, forcing an angry Dutcher to call timeout.
San Diego State: LeDee, the nation’s sixth-leading scorer with an average of 22.8 points, sprained his right elbow in a 79-73 loss at Grand Canyon on Tuesday night.
UC Irvine: Hosts South Dakota next Saturday.
SDSU: Hosts Saint Katherine on Dec. 19.
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