Colorado State vs San Diego State

No. 9 SDSU tops CSU, claims Mountain West share


SAN DIEGO -- For a school without a lot of experience at it, San Diego State did OK celebrating its share of the Mountain West Conference basketball championship.

The No. 9 Aztecs beat Colorado State 66-48 on Saturday night to split the title with No. 3 BYU. Students rushed the court at the final buzzer, confetti rained onto the court and the players held up the trophy and then cut down the nets at Viejas Arena, which has been the place to be in San Diego during the Aztecs' breakout season.

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"We are all very proud of this moment and the opportunity to say that we're champions," coach Steve Fisher said. "That's not trite, that's not a cliche, that's from the heart, from all of us. No matter how many games you win, winning a championship does not happen often, and we can say we've done that. It'll be with us forever. This is a special moment for all San Diego State, but in particular, our five seniors and our basketball team."

This was the second conference title in 12 seasons under Fisher and the first for the current players.

"I could not be more proud of how they've handled themselves, how they've found ways to be successful, how they've done it with a smile on their face, and never with an agenda. That's why we've won," Fisher said.

Kawhi Leonard had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Aztecs (29-2, 14-2), who will be the No. 2 seed in the MWC tournament at Las Vegas. BYU will be No. 1 because of its two 13-point wins against the Aztecs.

SDSU got the chance to share the title when BYU lost to New Mexico by 18 points on Wednesday night, a day after forward Brandon Davies was kicked off the team for breaking the school's honor code.

"Before the season we all set goals as a team, and this is something we can check off on our checklist, winning the league championship," senior guard D.J. Gay said. "It's been a great season. It's been a magical one so far. But we know it's not over yet. We take this in and enjoy the moment, but tomorrow comes and it's on to the tournament."

Another of the Aztecs' goals is to win a game in the NCAA tournament. They're winless in six trips, including three under Fisher. They won the MWC tournament last year and the league's automatic NCAA berth before losing to Tennessee.

Leonard, a sophomore forward, had his 21st double-double of the season and 38th of his career. He made nine of 10 free throws.

Andy Ogide scored 11 for Colorado State (19-11, 9-7), which lost for the fourth time in five games.

"They deserved to rush the court," CSU coach Tim Miles said. "I mean, the conference championship is pretty cool stuff. Coach Fisher and his staff have done a phenomenal job. They had confetti ready to roll and everything. Maybe someday we can get that going in Fort Collins."

The Aztecs took control by scoring 10 straight points early in the second half, including two free throws and a jumper by Leonard, for a 37-29 lead. Billy White, Chase Tapley and Malcolm Thomas each made a basket during the run.

White, one of five seniors honored before the game, scored 13 points. Gay had a rough night, shooting 3 of 14 from the floor, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range, for seven points.

"They feed off turnovers and we turned over the ball too much," Ogide said. "That turns into points for them when you do things like that against a team like this and they are going to kill you.

"They're a really good team," he added. "They're athletic. They're a really great rebounding team. A lot of teams can't match up with them in those aspects. They had a great season and I'm sure they will do well in the NCAA tournament as well."

SDSU jumped to an early 15-6 lead behind Leonard and Tapley before CSU went on a 13-0 run to take a 19-15 lead.

The Rams went ahead 27-23 on a free throw by Ogide and a 3-pointer by Wes Eikmeier with 3:41 before halftime.

CSU didn't score after that, and SDSU tied it at 27 with a jumper by Leonard and a turnaround jumper by White. They were the Aztecs' only field goals in the final 8 1/2 minutes of the half.

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.
San Diego State players celebrate with fans after a win over CSU clilnches the Aztecs a share of the Mountain West title. (US Presswire)
San Diego State players celebrate with fans after a win over CSU clilnches the Aztecs a share of the Mountain West title. (US Presswire)
Colorado State (19-11)272148
San Diego State #9 (29-2) «273966
COST:A. Ogide 11 Pts
COST:A. Ogide 7 Reb
COST:W. Eikmeier 4 Ast
SDGST:K. Leonard 17 Pts
SDGST:K. Leonard 12 Reb
SDGST:M. Thomas 2 Ast

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Colorado StateSan Diego State
Andy Ogide
Kawhi Leonard
Colorado State Rams
A. Ogide, F334-113-470111
D. Green, G262-40-14025
T. Franklin, F241-41-24233
G. Smith, F242-84-63248
A. Nigon, G120-10-01010
W. Eikmeier, G293-72-23409
P. Hornung, F242-40-01024
J. Carr, G131-30-02002
W. Bell, F113-50-01026
D. Smith, G20-10-00000
M. Wiltz, G10-10-00000
K. Sabas, G10-00-01000
A. McFarland, FDid Not Play
T. Williams, CDid Not Play
C. Calcaterra, CDid Not Play
Totals 18-4910-152781548
San Diego State Aztecs
D. Gay, G373-140-00107
K. Leonard, F354-109-10122017
B. White, F286-61-152413
M. Thomas, F262-24-43228
C. Tapley, G264-70-02219
B. Carlwell, C161-12-24004
J. Rahon, G160-40-00020
T. Shelton, F121-20-01032
J. Franklin, G31-22-21004
M. Cheriet, F11-20-01002
A. Williams, FDid Not Play
L. Franklin, GDid Not Play
Totals 23-5018-192991266
Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Boise St.0-010-142
Fresno St.0-09-273
San Diego St0-07-374
Air Force0-05-5310
Utah St.0-05-6193
Colorado St.0-04-6149
New Mexico0-03-7225
San Jose St.0-02-7340
Other games
Kansas 70 Final
Missouri 66
Louisville 70 Final
W Virg 72
TXTCH 54 Final
Tx A&M 66
GTOWN 47 Final
Cincinnati 69
XAV 66 Final
STL 55
Oregon 82 Final
Arizona 90
ND 70 Final
UConn 67
Wyoming 78 Final
BYU 102
DEP 59 Final
Syracuse 107
Purdue 65 Final
Iowa 67
NOVA 50 Final
Florida 86 Final
Utah St 72 Final
LT 30
S Florida 56 Final
St John's 72
DUKE 67 Final
NC 81
Texas 60 Final
Baylor 54