Xavier Thames helped San Diego State advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2011 by scoring a game-high 30 points in their, 63-44, win over North Dakota State.
The game started off shaky for the Aztecs with the Bison taking an early 20-15 lead midway through the first half. Thames was the only offensive threat for the Aztecs up until head coach Steve Fisher decided to go with an athletic lineup and insert Dwayne Polee who had seven points in the first half and help San Diego State take a 30-23 lead at the half. That move was brilliant by Fisher and changed the outcome of the game.
San Diego State needed more than a spectacular game form Thames in this round of 32 game, and the Aztecs patented defense had a great game. North Dakota State led the nation in field goal percentage during the regular season by making 51 percent of their shots, but on Saturday evening they were held to 35 percent shooting on the night.
The Bison best offensive threat Taylor Braun was held to single digits for just the fourth time all year with seven points, during the regular season Braun averaged 18 points per game. Kory Brown led the Bison in scoring with 13 points in the losing effort.
Up next for San Diego State is to play winner between No. 1 Arizona or No. 8 Gonzaga next week in the comfortable confines of the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.