Polee Lifts No. 8/7 #AztecMBB Past UNLV, 59-51
March 14, 2014
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Dwayne Polee II had 18 points and six rebounds to lead No. 8 San Diego State to a 59-51 win over UNLV in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament Friday night.
San Diego State used a 19-9 run out of the break to open up a 48-33 lead with 8:13 left in the game. The Aztecs scored 12 points off of turnovers and outrebounded UNLV 34-29.
The feisty Runnin' Rebels kept it close in the first half, and made a last-minute rally, but it wasn't enough against the quicker and defensively sound top-seeded Aztecs. Trailing 50-37 with just under six minutes left in the game, UNLV's Bryce Dejean-Jones scored seven points during a 14-6 run to cut the lead to five with 48.9 seconds left in the game.
But Polee made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch to seal the Aztecs' win.
Xavier Thames added 17 and six assists for the Aztecs (29-3), who will face New Mexico or Boise State in the title game on Saturday.
And while San Diego State is assuredly headed to the NCAA tournament, the loss dealt a severe blow to UNLV's chances of making the Big Dance for a fifth consecutive year.
Deville Smith led the Rebels (29-13) with 17 points, while Bryce Dejean-Jones scored 10 and Khem Birch added six points, 15 rebounds and five blocked shots.