San Diego State survived a ragged ending and eliminated the tournament’s top-seed Brigham Young 64-62 in the first of the men’s semifinals at the Mountain West Conference tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center tonight.
Lorrenzo Wade hit all 11 of his free throws and finished with 24 points and seven rebounds for the Aztecs.
He also helped close the door on BYU. His reverse layup in the lane put San Diego State ahead by three with just 26 seconds left, then after a Cougar free throw, he sank a pair of free throws to increase the lead to four with less than 10 seconds to play.
Kyle Spain added 13 points and five rebounds for the Aztecs. Jimmer Fredette had 17 points and Lee Cummard added 11 for BYU.
After a Lee Cummard basket cut the Cowboys’ lead to two points with less than two seconds remaining, the Cougars called a timeout to set their defense. It nearly worked as Charles Abouo came up with a steal and heaved the ball at the basket. The desperation attempt may not have mattered. Abouo was not credited with a shot attempt, so its likely the referees waved off the attempt and ruled that it left his hands after the buzzer. Had it gone in, fans would have had some tense moments as the officials watched the replays on the monitor.
San Diego State’s mascot does not have the traditional big fuzzy costumes that we’ve all grown accustomed to seeing at sporting events. Instead, the Aztec Warrior wears a pair of shorts and some sort of skimpy vest. Apparently, in the days of the Aztec, nobody had yet discovered the sit up. Sorry, not everybody can go with the bare midriff look. It would be a great benefit to everyone in attendance for the championship games tomorrow if the Aztec put on some sort of undershirt.
San Diego State Invitational
With the men’s team beating BYU, San Diego State will have an entrant in both of tomorrow’s title games. It’s only fitting that the school that boasts both of the teams that knocked off the host UNLV teams will take over the Thomas & Mack Center tomorrow. They may not be alone, however. Utah’s women are already in to tomorrow’s title game and the men have a chance to join them in the last semifinal of the evening. It could be an all San Diego State-Utah championship day. Maybe all of the extra work will help the Aztec Warrior shed some of the extra pounds.
No More Bubble
It has to be assumed that San Diego State’s victory has moved them from bubble team to a squad that is safely in the tournament. The Aztecs did very little to warrant consideration for the NCAA tournament in the nonconference, but much of that was without Lorrenzo Wade. Even when he did return, the team was still trying to get acclimated to playing with the star forward. The team is hitting its stride right now and will be a tough matchup for anybody that draws it in the first round.