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SDSU solves BYU, captures another MWC title

Mar 13, 2011 - 4:03 AM Las Vegas, NV (Sports Network) - Billy White posted 21 points, 12 rebounds and five steals, and No. 7 San Diego State avenged its only two losses of the season by upending eighth-ranked BYU, 72-54, to capture its second straight Mountain West Conference Tournament title.

Kawhi Leonard chipped in 20 points for the Aztecs (32-2), who held a comfortable lead for most of the game and fended off a late rally for their fourth tourney crown.

Jimmer Fredette, coming off a career-high 52-point showcase in the semis against New Mexico, netted 30 in a losing effort.

"We just weren't shooting real well. Sometimes that happens. They played good defense. They're long, they're athletic. They caused us some problems," Fredette said.

The Cougars (30-4) shot a woeful 32 percent from the floor to fall for the second time in five games since dismissing forward Brandon Davies from the team for violating the school's honor code.

The last game Davies played was an 80-67 victory on the Aztecs' home court on February 26, and the Cougars sorely missed his inside presence in the first half with White and Leonard controlling the blocks.

"He's a key player on that team," White said of Davies. "We took advantage of that and crashed the boards, just played San Diego State basketball. We knew if we just tried to contain Jimmer and tried to make everybody else shoot, we knew that we had the game."

White tipped in a Chase Tapley miss to end an 8-0 run that pushed SDSU's lead to 26-15 at the midway point.

Behind 55-percent shooting, the second-seeded Aztecs led 43-31 at the break and held BYU scoreless during a five-minute stretch early in the second half. The subsequent eight-point run expanded the cushion to 57-35 a little more than six minutes in.

The difference was as high as 23 before top-seeded BYU got its fans back in it with a 15-2 spurt. Fredette scored in a variety of ways on three straight possessions, then dished to Jackson Emery for a three-pointer to pull BYU within 62-52 with five minutes to go.

White turned the ball over the next time down, but James Anderson missed a contested shot in the lane to take the wind out of the Cougars' sails.

San Diego State got a pair of putbacks to fall on its next two possessions, starting a string of 10 straight points that put the game away.

Game Notes

The Cougars have won the MWC tourney title just once (2001)...BYU also beat SDSU, 71-58, at home on January 26...Emery was the only other BYU player in double figures, ending with 11 points...Tapley contributed 14 points for the Aztecs, who shot 45 percent overall...D.J. Gay, who hit the game-winner in a 74-72 win over UNLV in the semis, was held scoreless in 34 minutes.