No. 8/7 #AztecMBB Ready for MW Quarterfinal Match-Up
March 11, 2014
LAS VEGAS -
The 2014 Mountain West regular-season champions, No. 8/7 San Diego State (27-3 overall; 16-2 Mountain West), winners of an MW-record four league tournament titles (2002, 2006, 2010 and 2011), which is a part of its record eight MW titles (includes regular-season titles in 2006, 2011*, 2012* and 2014) begins play in the 2014 Reese's MW Championship against either eighth-seeded Utah State (17-13 overall; 7-11 MW) or ninth-seeded Colorado State (16-15 overall; 7-11 MW) on Thursday at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The Aztecs will open the event by playing in the first quarterfinal round game Thursday at noon PT. The game will be shown nationally on CBS Sports Network, with radio coverage in southern California on The Mighty 1090.
San Diego State claimed its third regular-season league championship in the last four seasons (shared title with Brigham Young in 2011 and with New Mexico in 2012) on Saturday night with a 51-48 victory over then-No. 21 New Mexico. The Aztecs rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit, the largest second-half comeback of the Steve Fisher era, to claim victory and the league title. Senior guard Xavier Thames scored a game-high 23 points (8-of-16 field goals), while adding a career- and game-high five steals and a team-high three assists.
Trailing by 16 points with 12:05 to play, the Aztecs limited the Lobos to 2-for-11 shooting with eight turnovers in the final 12 minutes of the game. Meanwhile, the Aztecs, who shot just 39.6 percent from the floor for the game, made eight of their next nine field-goal attempts to jumpstart the comeback.
San Diego State swept the major all-conference honors which were announced by the MW on Monday. Xavier Thames, who was not a member of the six-person preseason all-conference team, became the third player in school history to earn Mountain West Player-of-the-Year honors (Brandon Heath in 2006 and Jamaal Franklin in 2012).
Head coach Steve Fisher earned league coach-of-the-year honors for the third time in the past four seasons. Earlier this year, Fisher earned his 300th victory at San Diego State and is currently nine wins shy of becoming the school's all-time winningest coach (George Ziegenfuss - 316). Fisher owns a league-record eight Mountain West titles and is the only active head coach in the league to have won a MW title (regular season or tournament).
Senior forward Josh Davis was named newcomer of the year in the conference. He is the first Aztec to earn that honor in the Mountain West era. Davis also landed on the all-MW third team.