No. 8/7 #AztecMBB to Face UNLV in MW Semifinal Game
March 13, 2014
LAS VEGAS -
The two winningest programs in Mountain West tournament history meet Friday when the top-seeded and No. T8/7 San Diego State (28-3 overall; 16-2 Mountain West) plays a road game at fourth-seeded UNLV (20-12; 10-8 MW) in the first semifinal round game Friday at the 2014 Reese's MW Championship.
Game time is set for 6 p.m. PT and the contest will be shown nationally on CBS Sports Network with radio coverage in southern California on The Mighty 1090.
San Diego State, which has won a Mountain West-record eight championships (four regular season titles: 2006, 2011*, 2012* and 2014, * - indicates shared title; and four league tournament titles: 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2011), faces UNLV, a school which owns three tournament titles. The Rebels are 24-10 all-time in the MW tournament and San Diego State is 20-10 in the event to rank first and second, respectively, in winning percentage among current league schools.
On Thursday, San Diego State advanced to the semifinal round for a league-best seventh consecutive season with a 73-39 victory over eighth-seeded Utah State. The Aztecs never trailed, led by double digits the final 27:41 and led by 20 or more the last 21:01 of the contest. All 11 players that dressed for SDSU played and scored as it recorded its largest margin of victory in a conference tournament game and broke the Mountain West record for widest margin of victory by any team. Also, SDSU limited Utah State to its lowest offensive output since Jan. 10, 1994, and its second-lowest scoring game in the three-point era. The 34-point defeat was the Aggies' widest margin of defeat since Sept. 7, 1999.
All-America candidate and Mountain West Player of the Year Xavier Thames scored a game-high 15 points and added a season-best seven assists in just 22 minutes of action. Sophomore forward Winston Shepard chipped in with 13 points, four rebounds and two steals. Senior forward Josh Davis had eight points, 13 rebounds and a career-high six steals.
The Aztecs shot 52.5 percent from the floor and has now won 46 consecutive games when shooting 50 percent or better from the field and 33 straight when owning a higher field-goal percentage than its opponent. SDSU limited Utah State to a season low 29.3 percent shooting from the field, giving San Diego State its 20th straight win when when holding its opponent to 40 percent or less field-goal shooting.
Now, the Aztecs face the Rebels for the eighth time in the 15-year history of the event. The Aztecs own a 5-2 record against the Rebels in the Mountain West tournament, winning each of the last four encounters (2006 semifinals, 2009 quarterfinals, 2010 championship and 2011 semifinals). Of the seven previous meetings, six have been played at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, with the Aztecs winning four of those games. All four of San Diego State's Mountain West tournament championships have included a victory over UNLV.
San Diego State is looking to advance to the MW championship game for the fifth time in six seasons and the seventh time in school history. The Aztecs own a 4-2 record in the title game.