ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Four days, three games, two victories against ranked opponents and one tournament championship.
Not a bad Thanksgiving weekend for San Diego State.
"We told our team before we took the court about what an honor it was to play in this event and that if we won, we would be remembered," Aztecs coach Steve Fisher said. "It might have looked like it wasn't pretty, but it was tough, hard-fought, competitive basketball and I think that wins for you."
The game was tied at 53 with 3½ minutes remaining, but the Aztecs (5-1) closed with a 14-4 run to knock off their second consecutive ranked opponent.
Thames, who was named tournament MVP, shot 7 of 16 from the field, including 5 of 6 from 3-point range. He also made six free throws in the final 40 seconds to help the Aztecs secure the victory.
"None of this would be possible without my teammates," Thames said. "They were finding me when I was wide open. and coach Fisher is putting me in the right spots."
Thames averaged 21.3 points and shot 56 percent from the field, including 11 of 15 from 3-point range, in the tournament.
"XT is playing as good of basketball as anybody in the country right now," Fisher said. "Complete control, not trying too hard and making plays that a fifth-year player makes to be successful."
Josh Davis had a game-high 11 rebounds and joined Thames on the all-tournament team, and Dakari Allen and Winston Shepard each scored eight points for SDSU.
The win marked the first time in program history the Aztecs beat a ranked opponent in consecutive games. They were coming off a victory against No. 20 Creighton in the tournament semifinals on Friday. SDSU has now defeated a ranked opponent 12 times since January 2010.
Deonte Burton scored 15 points, Jamil Wilson scored nine points and was named to the all-tournament team, and Derrick Wilson also scored nine for the Marquette, which lost to its second unranked opponent in a week.
"The only reason there's a number besides our name is because the polls come out on Monday," Golden Eagles coach Buzz Williams said. "I don't think we have earned the right to be ranked."
The Aztecs shot only 39.3 percent from the field (22 of 56), but made up for it with solid performances from 3 point-range (6 for 12) and from the free-throw line (17 for 23).
SDSU had a 44-37 lead with 12:56 remaining, but Burton and the Eagles charged back to forge a 53-53 tie. Burton, a freshman forward, scored 11 points in the spurt.
The Aztecs didn't let it stay tied for long. Winston Shepard hit a pair of free throws and followed with a jumper that began a 12-2 Aztecs run and ended the Golden Eagles' comeback attempt.
Marquette was held without a field goal from the 4:32 mark until there were 14 seconds left in the game, a cold stretch that allowed SDSU to pull away.