Micah Parrish had 16 points and six rebounds to lead fifth-seeded San Diego State to a 75-52 victory over 13th-seeded Furman in the second round of the NCAA Tournament’s South Region on Saturday at Orlando, Fla.
Lamont Butler added 12 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Aztecs (29-6), who advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2014. They’ll face top-seeded Alabama (30-5) or eighth-seeded Maryland (22-12) on Friday at Louisville, Ky.
Darrion Trammell chipped in 13 points and Matt Bradley finished with 10 points for the Mountain West regular-season and tournament champion Aztecs, who have won six straight games. Nathan Mensah had six points and nine rebounds.
The Aztecs shot an impressive 29 of 58 (50 percent) from the field, including 6 of 20 (30 percent) from 3-point range. San Diego State outrebounded the Paladins 41-24.
The Sweet 16 berth is the third in Aztecs’ history. The others were in 2011 and 2014.
“We’re about the right things. I mean, this is a veteran group. They play the right way. They’re for one another,” San Diego State coach Brian Dutcher said. “Most teams can’t play this deep a bench and have great chemistry. We have incredible chemistry playing a nine-man rotation. And that’s been the key to our success, that we play selfless, we play together, and we’re all about winning.”
Playing in its first NCAA Tournament in 43 years, Furman ended the winningest season in program history at 28-8. The Paladins earned just their second NCAA Tournament win ever and first since 1974 in Thursday’s first-round upset of fourth-seeded Virginia.
Against San Diego State, Mike Bothwell scored 15 points for Furman, which ended its season by winning 15 of its last 17 games. Alex Williams had 11 points and JP Pegues finished with 10 for the Paladins.
The Paladins shot 16 of 50 (32 percent) from the field, including 6 of 26 (23.1 percent) from beyond the arc.
Leading by 14 at halftime, San Diego State put the game away by opening the second half on a 12-5 run to take a 51-30 lead following Adam Seiko’s layup with 14:12 left.
After Furman took a 16-12 lead on Jalen Slawson’s 3-pointer with 11:17 left in the first half, the Aztecs took control of the game. San Diego State allowed the Paladins to make just one field goal the rest of the half and used an 18-1 run to take a 30-17 advantage following Parrish’s layup with 4:48 remaining.
Parrish scored 14 points and Bradley had seven in the first 20 minutes for San Diego State. Furman was led by Slawson’s eight first-half points, while Bothwell added seven.
–Field Level Media
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