New Mexico vs San Diego State

Time: 04:00 P.M. EST

New Mexico will lead the Mountain West after Saturday's showdown at San Diego State no matter the result, but a victory could put the Lobos firmly in control of the conference race for now.

The No. 15 Lobos seek their fifth straight win in the teams' first meeting since New Mexico pulled off the upset in the conference tournament final last season.

New Mexico (17-2, 4-0) has made things interesting during its four-game run, winning three times by five points, including once in overtime. The Lobos nearly blew a 22-point lead against Colorado State on Wednesday before hanging on for a 66-61 victory.

Coach Steve Alford wasn't discouraged by his team almost squandering the big lead as it dealt the Rams, one of the top rebounding teams in the nation, their fourth loss in 19 games this season. Colorado State held a 42-28 edge on the glass.

"I'm extremely pleased with our basketball team," he said. "We're pretty good. We're a pretty good basketball team and I think we're getting better because we beat a really good basketball team."

Tony Snell scored 23 points and has averaged 20.3 - 7.7 above his season mark - in the last three games. He had 14 points at halftime.

"It always helps when somebody gets off to a quick start," Alford told the team's official website. "I thought he was really good."

New Mexico leads San Diego State and UNLV by 1 1/2 games for the top spot in the conference. With the Rebels off until next week, the Lobos could end up heading home Saturday with some breathing room in the standings if they can beat the Aztecs for a third straight time.

Both of those Lobos victories came with San Diego State ranked, but the Aztecs (15-4, 3-2) aren't in the poll this time after going 1-2 in their last three. They averted a third loss in a row with a 78-57 win over Nevada on Wednesday after back-to-back losses to UNLV and Wyoming last week knocked them out of the Top 25.

"We're a veteran ball club that knows how to win," coach Steve Fisher said. "This victory started on Sunday when we started watching film. We had not been practicing like a championship team should. We were better the last couple days. I'm not surprised with how we came out and played."

Chase Tapley scored 17 points, Jamaal Franklin added 14 and J.J. O'Brien had 12 for the Aztecs, who went on an 18-3 run late in the second half.

San Diego State limited Nevada to 34.5 percent shooting - 26.1 after the break. It was the fourth game in a row it held an opponent under 36 percent overall.

Fisher hopes the bounce-back performance carries into Saturday's game, as he seemed to leave little doubt that he wants his team back in the rankings.

"We want to be recognized nationally and that only comes from winning. We'll enjoy this for a couple hours. Then get back on the plane, get home and get ready for New Mexico," he said.

Tapley scored a game-high 25 points and went 5 for 9 from 3-point range in the MWC final March 10, but Snell's 14 points helped pace a balanced Lobos attack that gave them the 68-59 upset of then-No. 18 San Diego State and an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament.

New Mexico took the most recent road matchup in the series 77-67 over the then-No. 13 Aztecs on Feb. 15.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
College Basketball Current Odds
GameCurrent Line
New Mexico
@ San Diego State

Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Colorado St.13-524-1266
Boise St.12-620-1272
Fresno St.11-720-1376
New Mexico10-817-1486
San Diego St9-919-1498
San Jose St.7-1114-16191
Utah St.7-1114-17181
Air Force4-1412-21251

Related Video


CBSSports Shop

Men's Nike White Villanova Wildcats 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt

Villanova Wildcats 2016 National Champs
Get the Locker Room Gear!
Shop Now

Other Games
SYR 71 Final
OHST 65 Final
PSU 51
ND 73 Final
USF 65
LOU 51 Final
MD 64 Final
KSU 67 Final
MINN 44 Final
OKLA 54 Final
KAN 67
VANDY 59 Final
TEMP 71 Final
USC 50 Final
UNC 83 Final
WASH 76 Final
ORE 81
SF 52 Final
MISS 63 Final
AUB 61
FLA 82 Final
LAS 69 Final
VCU 61
BRAD 39 Final