Marin City native Darrion Trammell and Oakland native Keshad Johnson will play in Monday’s National Championship Game after their San Diego State Aztecs beat Florida Atlantic 72-71 in the Final Four.
Lamont Butler’s fadeaway jumper as time expired gave the Aztecs the win in a game that they had trailed for nearly 32 minutes, where they faced a deficit of as much as 14 points.
San Diego State (32-6) trailed the Owls 56-42 with 13:53 left in the second half but drew even on Aguek Arop’s jumper with 4:26 remaining. Three missed free throws prevented the Aztecs from pulling ahead, and they made a questionable decision not to foul when Jaedon LeDee’s jumper cut the FAU lead to 71-70 with 36.2 on the clock, but Brian Dutcher’s decision worked.
Aguek Arop forced Johnell Davis to miss a layup, Nathan Mensah grabbed the rebound and Butler hit the shot despite strong defense from freshman Nicholas Boyd.
Trammell, who played his high school ball at St. Ignatius and also played at City College of San Francisco, scored five points, all in the second half. Johnson, who spent three years at Envision Academy before playing his senior year at San Leandro, finished with three points and five rebounds. Cal transfer Matt Bradley led the Aztecs with 21 points, while Alijah Martin scored a game-high 26 for Florida Atlantic (35-4).
SDSU will face either Miami or UConn in Monday night’s championship, scheduled to tip off at 6:20 p.m. Pacific time. Marin Catholic alum Joey Calcaterra serves as a 3-point specialist off the bench for Connecticut.
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