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SDSU Keep Hopes Alive in Close Game Against CSU

Portions of this article were used on the SB Nation conference tournament coverage section

The San Diego St. Aztecs kept their NCAA tournament hopes alive with a 72-71 win over Colorado State.  D.J. Gay made two free throws with 23 seconds left to give the Aztecs the one point lead that would stand for the rest of the game.  It was a tight game the whole way as the largest lead was ten by SDSU and seven by CSU.  San Diego St will play #1 seed New Mexico tomorrow as they bid for a NCAA tournament spot.  Join the game chat to catch all the latest comments!

The game had three big plays that changed the outcome.  The first was the ejection of CSU's best player in Andy Ogide after a offensive foul that was reviewed and turned into a technical foul.  The technical call was warranted but an ejection might have been a bit much seeing it was a tournament game and it seemed unintentional.  

The second big play was a Billy White basket with the shot clock expiring with 2:47 left in the game.  The Rams had a great defensive stand and looked to stay within two at 66-68.  The Aztecs threw it up to Billy White who made a great catch and shoot to give the Aztecs a four point lead.

The last big play was a Dorian Green turnover with 6.7 seconds.  With 1:27 the freshman Green converted an and-1 free throw to give the Rams a 71-70 lead.  His heroics would stop there as he looked to dish it to Travis Franklin with 6.7 seconds remaining and missed his target.  The Rams did get a desperation three off after a missed free throw but got nothing but air.

Three Aztecs, Billy White, Chase Tapley, and Malcom Thomas all tied for the team high of 15 points.  Thomas had a team high seven rebounds.  Billy White had a bit of a scare with a possible ankle sprain in the 1st half but returned to action to hit some big shots down the stretch.  The Aztecs forced 16 turnovers which helped off set their poor 1-10 3-point performance.  SDSU shot 52% from the field despite the poor three point shooting, they were only 60% from the free throw line which will need to improve if they want to keep moving on.

Adam Nigon led the Rams and the game with 18 points on 7-12 shooting.  Dorian Green had 12 points and four assists in a solid game for the freshman, last second turnover not withstanding.  Andy Ogide had six points and four rebounds in nine minutes of action before he was booted by the refs.  Mame Bocar Ba had nine points and five rebounds in his absence. The Rams won the rebound margin 28-26 and 14-10 on the offensive glass which helped them keep the game close against the aggressively rebounding Aztecs.

This was a great game and would be a instant MWC tournament classic if it wasn't a first round game.  The Rams will head home with a good season under their belt.  The Aztecs look ahead to the Lobos.  A win for the Aztecs would mean a sure entry into the NCAA tournament.