San Diego, CA- The No. 10 ranked San Diego State Aztecs rallied to defeat the UNLV Running Rebels 73-64 Wednesday night.
The Aztecs improve to (26-3) on the year and remain tied for First in the Mountain West with No. 25 New Mexico at (15-2) in conference play.
The Aztecs started the game strong on offense going on a 10-0 run on three straight turnovers by the Rebels to give the Aztecs a 12-5 lead. The Rebels would answer right back going on a 10-0 run of their own to retake the lead 15-12 midway through the first half. With the Rebels leading the Aztecs 20-14, with 8:41 left in the first half, the Aztecs would go on a 15-5 run to retake the lead 29-25 lead with a few minutes left in the half. The Aztecs would’ve gone into halftime with the lead 33-32, until Aztecs Matt Shrigley fouled Kevin Olekaibe with 0.2 left in the half. Kevin Olekaibe would make two out of three free-throws to give UNLV the lead 34-33 at the half.
The Rebels would continue their hot shooting in the second half, maintaining a five point lead to start the half, until the Aztecs tied the game at 50-50 on a three by Matt Shrigley. The lead would’ve been much larger for the Rebels, if it was’t for the hot shooting by Shrigley who kept the Aztecs in the game by going 5 for-5 from the field with 4 straight threes to start the second half and tie the game. The Aztecs and Rebels would alternate their lead back and fourth to end the game, until with the Aztecs trailing 62-61, Thames would drive to the lane for a three-point play to give the Aztecs the lead 64-62. The Aztecs would not reliquish their lead from that point on, as the Aztecs finished the game on a 13-2 run to seal the win.
With the win the Aztecs now have 26 wins on the season, which ties the second-highest single-season win total in program history. The Aztecs also set tonight a school-record with 15 conference wins this season, breaking the previous record of 14, set by the (34-3) Aztecs team in 2010-11.
With the win the Aztecs also sweep the season series versus UNLV for the first time since 2011 and the fourth time in school history. The Aztecs have now won eight of their last 11 games against the Running Rebels.
Xavier Thames lead the Aztecs on offense with a game high 19 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
The Aztecs bench came up big in this game with 14 points by Matt Shrigley and 13 points by Dwayne Polee II
The Aztecs return to the court Saturday night as they host rival New Mexico for the Mountain West Conference regular season title.
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