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San Diego State survives The Pit, improves to 19-0

Jan 16, 2011 - 3:46 AM Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - D.J. Gay hit seven three-pointers en route to pouring in a career-high 30 points and Kawhi Leonard supplied 19 points and 15 rebounds to lead sixth-ranked San Diego State to an 87-77 victory over New Mexico at The Pit.

Chase Tapley added 15 points for the Aztecs (19-0, 4-0 MWC), who extended the nation's longest active winning streak.

Drew Gordon totaled 23 points and 14 rebounds while Dairese Gary contributed 23 points for the Lobos (13-5, 1-2), who have split their last six games. New Mexico had a 16-game home win streak brought to an end.

"I think this is as good a defensive team as we have played all season," said New Mexico head coach Steve Alford. "That's what makes them scary. You have to be able to score and make some shots, but you also have to be able to defend."

After a Gordon layup drew the Lobos to within 28-27, SDSU closed the first half with a 9-2 burst, punctuated by a Gay trifecta at the buzzer, to take a 37-29 lead at the break.

Leading 42-37, the Aztecs put together an 11-2 surge, highlighted by triples from Gay and Billy White, his only bucket of the night, to expand their lead to 53-39 with 14:05 remaining in the game.

The visitors lead grew to as many as 18 before the Lobos slowly chipped away. Gordon's dunk got the hosts within 77-68 with 1 1/2 minutes to play but Tapley and Gay each hit a pair from the line to push the lead back to 13 with 1:13 to go.

"I think it's the crowd," Gay said when asked what playing in The Pit does to motivate someone. "I love coming and playing here. It is a great arena and a great crowd. There are not many places that you can go to and not be able to hear the person who's standing five feet away from you. I just enjoy being here. We tried to silence the crowd."

Gay then hit four more foul shots and Malcolm Thomas added a pair in the final 62 seconds to seal the victory for the Aztecs, who are 7-0 on the road.

Game Notes

Gay made 7-of-11 from beyond the arc and missed all three of his shots from inside the three-point line...SDSU made 13-of-25 from long distance and only 14-of-30 from within the arc...The Aztecs made 19-of-24 at the foul line in the second half to improve to 8-25 at The Pit...Gordon knocked down 10-of-17 from the floor for the Lobos, who shot only 38 percent...New Mexico still leads the all-time series, 38-30...Since the start of the 2005-06 season, the Lobos are 2-4 at home against SDSU and 75-9 against all other opponents.