Fresno State vs San Diego State

No. 10 San Diego State gets past Fresno State


SAN DIEGO -- Xavier Thames showed once again why he's so valuable to San Diego State.

Thames scored 28 points and Winston Shepard keyed a 12-2 run for the 10th-ranked Aztecs, who rallied to beat Fresno State 68-60 on Wednesday night for their 14th consecutive victory.

"Sometimes your worth to a team doesn't show up in the boxscore. It does with Xavier," coach Steve Fisher said. "All you have to do is look at the stat line, and he's that good. He has been playing at such a level that we expect him to be doing what he's doing."

On a night when the Aztecs (15-1, 4-0 Mountain West) often looked ragged, Thames was the only one who was consistent. He made eight of 13 field goal attempts (the team hit only 18 of 54 for 33.3 percent) and nine of 11 free throws.

Shepard scored 17 points and Josh Davis had 13 rebounds.

SDSU won it at the line. Fresno State was whistled for 25 fouls and the Aztecs made 26 of 41 free throws. SDSU was called for only 14 fouls and Fresno State was 11 of 15 from the line.

The Aztecs' only scoring in the final 8 minutes was from the free throw line, where they made 13 of 17. Their last field goal came when Shepard was fouled on a goaltending call with 8:01 left.

"We're not really worried about that. We're just worried about getting stops on the defensive end," Thames said. "The offensive flow will come to us. Our main thing is just getting stops on the defensive end, coming together as a team and getting stops."

San Diego State also set a school record for fewest turnovers with four.

Fisher said the Aztecs got better at driving as the game went on and the 41 free throws they took "were indicative of our attack mode and crashing the boards, and we do a pretty good job of both."

Fresno State coach Rodney Terry chuckled at the disparity in the number of free throws. "Give them credit, they made more than they missed and it gave them a chance to win a close ballgame," he said.

Thames and Shepard were a combined 18 of 25 from the line, more than Fresno State's team totals.

"It's hard to win those kind of games," Terry said.

"They called it close but I don't think that had any effect on the outcome," said Tyler Johnson, who had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Fresno State (8-10, 1-4), which lost for the fourth time in five games. "We didn't make plays down the stretch in order to take the lead."

The Aztecs' 12-2 run started after Allen Huddleston hit a 3-pointer with 10:50 to go to give Fresno State a 46-44 lead. Matt Shrigley made the front end of a 1-and-1 and then hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key to give SDSU a 48-46 advantage. Thames added a 3 for a five-point lead before Johnson made a 17-foot jumper for the Bulldogs.

Shepard then took over with a spin move and a bank shot followed by a three-point play, after he was fouled on a goaltending call, for a 56-48 lead, SDSU's biggest.

Fresno State led for most of the final 8 1/2 minutes of the first half thanks to a 27-13 run. Johnson hit consecutive 3-pointers early in the spurt and Huddleston also made a shot from behind the arc.

SDSU bounced back behind Thames, who scored eight of his team's final 10 points in the half. Thames hit the first of two free throws, then had a three-point play and a 3-pointer with 38 seconds left that gave SDSU a 31-29 lead.

Marvelle Harris made a 3 with 14 seconds remaining to give the Bulldogs a 32-31 halftime edge.

The Aztecs won their 38th consecutive game against a team from California. On Monday, SDSU reached its highest AP ranking since it was No. 6 on March 14, 2011.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Fresno State (8-10)322860
San Diego State #10 (15-1) «313768
FRESNO:T. Johnson 24 Pts
FRESNO:T. Johnson 11 Reb
FRESNO:A. Huddleston 4 Ast
SDGST:X. Thames 28 Pts
SDGST:J. Davis 13 Reb
SDGST:J. O'Brien 2 Ast

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Fresno StateSan Diego State
Tyler Johnson
Xavier Thames
Fresno State Bulldogs
P. Watson, G-F362-40-09124
M. Harris, G353-124-631311
T. Johnson, G338-165-6114424
C. Guerrero, G303-112-25249
K. Edo, F143-30-12036
A. Huddleston, G262-70-01416
T. Giddings, F-C130-10-02140
A. Davis, F130-10-01040
J. Lewis, GDid Not Play
B. Anderson, FDid Not Play
B. Newbill, G-FDid Not Play
B. Williams, GDid Not Play
E. Owootoah, GDid Not Play
K. Jackson, FDid Not Play
M. Salazar, GDid Not Play
Totals 21-5511-1534132560
San Diego State Aztecs
X. Thames, G348-139-1111328
J. O'Brien, F342-72-48217
J. Davis, F300-82-413032
W. Shepard, F294-119-1462017
S. Spencer, F210-30-03010
M. Shrigley, F221-52-42035
D. Polee II, F132-50-01015
A. Quinn, G110-12-22112
D. Allen, G61-10-20012
J. Johnson, FDid Not Play
A. Chol, FDid Not Play
R. Staten, GDid Not Play
P. U'u, GDid Not Play
D. Williams, GDid Not Play
K. Woldemichael, GDid Not Play
D. Maxwell, GDid Not Play
N. Federico, FDid Not Play
Totals 18-5426-413661468
Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Air Force0-02-0220
Boise St.0-04-167
Fresno St.0-02-1220
New Mexico0-02-1292
San Diego St0-02-1241
Colorado St.0-02-2257
Utah St.0-02-2200
San Jose St.0-01-3302
Other games
MASS 88 Final
GMU 87
MIST 54 Final
NW 40
STBN 60 Final
STL 66
TCU 50 Final
BAYL 72 Final