Xavier Thames scored a game-high 19 points and the visiting Aztecs finished the contest on a 12-2 run to remain tied for the Mountain West Conference lead with one game to play. Matt Shrigley and Dwayne Polee II came off the bench to score 14 and 13 points, respectively, as San Diego State (26-3, 15-2 MWC) won its third straight game and swept the season series. Winston Shepard also scored 13 points for the Aztecs, who will meet New Mexico in a showdown for the MWC title on Saturday night. Khem Birch notched his 16th double-double of the season for the Rebels, who had their two-game winning streak snapped. Birch had 16 points and 10 rebounds for UNLV (19-11, 10-7), which played without the nation's fifth-leading rebounder, Roscoe Smith, who suffered a concussion in the Rebels' last outing. UNLV, which trailed by 14 at the half the last time the two teams met, closed the first half on a 7-0 run to take a 34-33 lead into the break. The Rebels survived turning the ball over 12 times in the first half and trailed by as much as six. Birch's free throw gave UNLV its last lead, 62-61 with just over three minutes left, but Thames converted a three-point play and Shepard then buried a long 3-pointer to put the Aztecs ahead for good. Thames and Shepard then put the game away at the free-throw line. GAME NOTEBOOK: The 15 conference wins is a San Diego State school record. ...Thames finished just 6-for-18 from the field.. ...Birch had 10 points and nine rebounds before the break.
San Diego St. 73, UNLV 64
ProSportsDaily | Mar 6