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Gay's lay up lifts SDSU over UNLV

Mar 12, 2011 - 7:48 AM Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - D.J. Gay put in the game-winner with 4.9 seconds left as No. 7 San Diego State took a 74-72 win over UNLV in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference.

After a swiped pass at the other end, San Diego State went down the court and got the ball to Gay. He charged into the paint and flipped it into the basket for a 74-72 lead.

Tre'Von Willis' desperation three-pointer just before the buzzer missed as the Aztecs (31-2) punched their ticket to Saturday's final against BYU.

Gay had 15 points, Kawhi Leonard added 18 points and eight rebounds and Malcolm Thomas had 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists for San Diego State, which will appear in its third straight championship game and is looking for its fourth title.

Chace Stanback had 22 points and six rebounds and Willis finished with 19 points for the Rebels (24-8), who lost to the Aztecs in the title game last year.

San Diego State held a 10-point lead, 23-13, on a Thomas dunk with 9 1/2 minutes to play in the first half, but a 12-3 run by UNLV saw the team take a 30-29 lead on a Stanback three with 5 1/2 minutes left.

However, Gay hit a three-ball and Billy White scored the final four points of the half to give San Diego State a 44-34 lead at the break.

The Aztecs held the lead through much of the second half, but two free throws from Willis, a Stanback layup and two more free throws from Stanback with 2:53 left gave UNLV a 68-66 lead.

Thomas countered with two free throws and an Oscar Bellfield miss was followed with a Tapley layup for a 70-68 UNLV lead with 2:05 left.

Anthony Marshall followed with two free throws and, following a couple of misses by San SDiego State, Stanback hit a jumper with 55.9 seconds to play.

Thomas then hit two free throws with 43.1 left to tie the game and setup the final sequence.

Game Notes

San Diego State shot 48.2 percent from the floor...UNLV made 45.5 percent of its shots...UNLV still leads the series, 32-20...White finished the game with 12 points.