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SDSU escapes The Pit, snaps Lobos' win streak

Jan 19, 2012 - 7:06 AM Albuquerque, NM (Sports Network) - Xavier Thames netted a game-high 22 points, leading 16th-ranked San Diego State to a 75-70 win over New Mexico on Wednesday.

Jamaal Franklin finished with 12 points and five rebounds, while Chase Tapley chipped in with 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals for the Aztecs (16-2, 2-0 MWC), who ran their winning streak to nine games.

Phillip McDonald paced the Lobos (15-3, 1-1) with 20 points and Kendall Williams added 16 points and five assists. Drew Gordon finished with 15 points and eight boards, while Jamal Fenton contributed 10 points and six assists in defeat for New Mexico, which had its 13-game winning streak halted.

Trailing 48-44 with 12 1/2 minutes to go in the game, San Diego State ripped off a 15-0 run, capped by a Franklin three-pointer, to take a 59-48 lead with 7 1/2 minutes to play.

Back-to-back three-pointers by McDonald and Williams brought the Lobos to within 64-57, but Franklin answered with a layup to push the lead back to 66-57 with 1:36 left in regulation.

A trey by Tony Snell with 30 seconds to play pulled New Mexico within 71-65, but a pair of free throws by Tapley and Thames secured the win for San Diego State.

"I don't have to say how sweet a victory it was for San Diego State," SDSU head coach Steve Fisher said. "We appeared to be on the verge of being blown out when they went ahead ten to nothing and we made three substitutions, Franklin, [Garrett] Green and [DeShawn] Stephens guided the ship for us."

New Mexico sprinted out to a 10-0 lead to open the game, capped by a Fenton three-pointer with under three minutes gone in the contest.

San Diego State then ripped off a 12-2 run to knot the game at 12 with over 12 minutes to play in the opening 20 minutes.

A McDonald jumper with just over nine minutes left put New Mexico up 20-14, but Thames answered with a three for the Aztecs to pull them within three.

The game remained close the rest of the half and the Lobos held a 31-30 edge at the break.

After the break, the game remained close early in the half and a pair of free throws by Gordon put New Mexico up 40-34 with just under four minutes gone.

A trey by James Rahon made it 40-37 for the Lobos, but San Diego State hung around and a three by McDonald with 12 1/2 minutes to play gave the Lobos a 48-44 lead.

"It was a tough game for us. I give San Diego State a lot of credit," New Mexico head coach Steve Alford said. "They are a very good basketball team. I thought they really guarded and we took way too many three point shots."

Game Notes

Despite the loss, the Lobos own a 38-32 advantage in the all-time series with the Aztecs. SDSU has won four straight and 11 of the last 14 meetings...SDSU shot 48.2 percent from the floor and 45 percent (9-of-20) from beyond the arc, while the Lobos shot 39 percent from the field and 42 percent from three-point range...New Mexico outrebounded SDSU, 42-34.