Las Vegas, NV – San Diego State pulled away late to beat a game New Mexico team 82-75 to win the Mountain West Conference tournament. The Aztecs will be heading to the NCAA tournament, likely along with regular season champion Nevada, giving the conference a surprise second participant.
Trey Kell was outstanding for San Diego State scoring a game-high 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting and effectively taking control of the game late. Point guard Antino Jackson played hard throughout the game for New Mexico, finishing with a team –high 17 points and seven assists against only two turnovers.
The game was close and intense throughout with San Diego State holding a 39-38 halftime lead. There were 11 lead changes and six tied scores in the game. New Mexico had their last lead at 63-62 with 6:48 remaining and were ahead by six (63-57) with 7:39 left in the game. After that point the Aztecs outscored the Lobos 25-12 to close out the game. Kell scored nine of those points. The key play that gave San Diego State a 66-63 lead was a four-point play from 6-9 Max Montana, Montana hit a three-pointer, was fouled and connected on the free throw.
Both teams shot 33 percent from long distance but San Diego State was more efficient overall, connecting on 50 percent of the field goals compared to 41 percent for the Lobos. The Aztecs held a +6 rebounding advantage and the teams were even in points in the paint. San Diego State had 12 more free throw attempts than New Mexico, converting on six more than the Lobos.
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