No. 10 San Diego State Aztecs comeback to defeat No. 25 New Mexico 51-48 to win the MW Regular Season Conference Championship


Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego, CA- The No. 10 ranked San Diego State Aztecs comeback to defeat No. 25 New Mexico 51-48 to win the Mountain West Regular Season Conference Championship Saturday night.

The Aztecs improve to (26-3) on the year and remain tied for First in the Mountain West with No. 25 New Mexico.

Aztecs struggled to guard the Lobos big men to start the game, scoring on their first four possessions to give the Lobos the early lead. The would then go on a 12-0 run and held the Lobo’s without a point for over 8 minutes of game play to take the lead 16-9. The Lobos would go on a run of their own to end the first half, going on a 15-2 run to retake the lead 26-20 over the Aztecs at the half. Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk dominated the Aztecs inside scoring 22 of the Lobo’s 26 poimts.

Bairstow and Kirk continued to dominate the Aztecs inside to start the second half, going on 15-0 run to increase the Lobo’s lead to 41-25 with 12:05 left in the game. With the Aztecs down 16 points and unable to defend the Lobo’s big-men, the Aztecs went into desperation mode and decided to go against the defense they’ve run all season and instead play a 1-3-1 zone. That decision changed the game for the Aztecs, as the Lobo’s were unable to score on the Aztecs zone defense, allowing the Aztecs to go on a 19-1 run to take the lead over the Lobo’s 44-42. Dwayne Polee II lead the Aztecs zone defense, as his wing defense pressuring forced multiple Aztecs steals that resulted in scores during their 19-1 run and didn’t allow the Lobo’s to get in their set’s on offense. The Aztecs would finish the game on a 26-7 run to end the game and seal a 51-48 comeback win for the Aztecs.

As the buzzer rang the Aztecs fans stormed the court as black and red confetti fell from the ceiling to celebrate the Aztecs first outright Mountain West Conference Regular Season Championship since 2006 and their third Mountain West Conference Regular Season Championship in the last four years.

Senior Xavier Thames lead the Aztecs comeback on Senior Night with 23 points.

The Aztecs return to the court Thursday afternoon as the No. 1 seed in the Mountain West Conference tournament and will face the winner of (8) Utah State v.s (9) Colorado State.