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No. 18 San Diego State Aztecs vs. Long Beach State final score: Dwayne Polee II carries Aztecs past 49ers, 60-59

The Aztecs needed a leader late, and the senior stepped up. Also: Aqeel Quinn needs to hurry back for this team to be successful.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

One thing became very clear during the San Diego State Aztecs' 60-59 win against the Long Beach State 49ers: Aqeel Quinn is SDSU's most valuable player.

For the third game in a row, the Aztecs have looked stagnant without Quinn coming off the bench as the sixth man.

Fortunately for fans in attendance at Viejas Arena, another senior stepped up in the waning moments to seal the victory: Dwayne Polee II.

Polee finished the night with 16 points and five rebounds, with 11 points coming in the second half. He also shot 7-8 from the charity stripe.

The Aztecs trailed the 49ers 49-41 with 8:38 left after Michael Caffey drained his third of four successful 3-pointers on the night.

From that point on, Steve Fisher put Winston Shepard at point guard and kept his freshmen off the court. Shepard seemed energized with his new responsibilities at the point. He scored four points in the last 7:05 and dished a beautiful assist to Polee for a 3-pointer that tied the game at 54.

Long Beach State, who played excellent basketball all night, was forced into the foul game when trailing 58-56 with 27 seconds left. Polee knocked down both his free throws to put the Aztecs up 60-56. But Caffey answered right back with a 3-point shot, bringing the 49ers within one point.

The 49ers then fouled J.J. O'Brien, who proceeded to miss both free throws. Travis Hammonds rebounded the second miss and heaved a prayer at the buzzer. It clanked off the rim and SDSU escaped with a one-point win.

SDSU shot 48 percent tonight -- a clip some Aztec fans would call a miracle. But 10 missed free throws and 18 turnovers allowed the 49ers to stay in the game.

Caffey -- who showed he's one of the best guards in the country -- scored 20 points and recorded four assists on the night.