3/3/2012 8:00:49 PM
San Diego State and New Mexico entered Saturday's action tied atop the
conference standings. With the Lobos beating Boise State earlier in the day,
the Aztecs needed a win to share the MWC regular-season title with New Mexico.
The Aztecs will be the No. 1 seed in next week's Mountain West Conference
Tournament because they own the tiebreaker over New Mexico.
Chase Tapley added 18 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Aztecs
(24-6, 10-4 MWC), who ended the regular season with four straight wins. Xavier
Thames and James Rahon had 16 and 12 points, respectively.
Hank Thorns made five three-pointers en route to 25 points for the Horned
Frogs (17-13, 7-7), who were trying for three wins over ranked teams in a
single season for the first time in school history.
J.R. Cadot donated 24 points and eight boards for TCU, which finished the
regular season with two straight defeats.
"This definitely shows us that we can beat anybody in the league," TCU forward
Craig Williams said. "We beat everybody except San Diego State, and that game
came down to the wire. I definitely look forward to going into conference
tournament play and trying to make some noise."
With the score tied at 85 early in overtime, Franklin recorded a three-point
play to put San Diego State in front. After Garlon Green missed a three,
Thames made a layup to give the Aztecs a five-point margin with three minutes
Thorns made 1-of-2 from the foul line to made it a 92-88 game with 1:40
remaining. But San Diego State went 6-of-10 from the foul line down the
stretch to claim its eighth straight victory over TCU.
TCU put up a good fight for a majority of the first half, and was within four,
36-32, on Amric Fields' jumper with two minutes to go.
But San Diego State ended the period on a 10-2 run to create some distance.
Deshawn Stephens bookended the spurt with a layup and jumper to make it a
46-34 game at the break.
Ahead by 10, 52-42, early in the second half, the Aztecs put together an 11-3
spurt to build a comfortable lead. Franklin made a layup and seven free throws
during the run, which Tapley capped with a layup for a 63-45 margin with 15:21
The Horned Frogs made a big comeback instead of rolling over. Down 66-48, the
home team put together a 29-11 run to tie the game. Cadot tallied 14 points
during the burst, which Connell Crossland capped with two free throws to make
it 77-77 with 5:40 to go.
"Our team and our coaches have eye-witnessed everything that has happened this
year and it had end the way it did," San Diego State head coach Steve Fisher
said. "I knew when we got up by 18 points that it was far from over. They did
what they've done to UNLV and New Mexico. They played like warriors themselves
and came back and made some incredibly hard 3's to get themselves back in the
Franklin put the Aztecs back in front with a free throw and layup. But Cadot's
three-point play and Thorns' three-pointer around a Franklin missed jumper put
TCU ahead by three, 83-80.
Stephens was fouled at the other end after grabbing a big offensive rebound,
but he missed both foul shots. Williams missed a three-pointer for TCU.
Franklin airballed a shot from beyond the arc, but Tim Shelton came down with
the offensive board. He was fouled on a layup and made the free throw to make
it an 83-83 game with 21.6 seconds left in regulation.
Thorns missed a jumper to send the game into overtime.
San Diego State owns a 13-4 advantage in the all-time series with TCU...The
Horned Frogs had an eight-game home winning streak snapped...TCU went 10-of-26
from three-point range...The Aztecs outrebounded the Horned Frogs by a 50-37
margin...San Diego State claimed its second consecutive Mountain West regular-
season title, the third of the MW era (2005-06, 2010-11 and 2011-12, all under
Fisher, the fifth of the Division I era (also 1976-77 and 1977-78) and the
18th in the programs' 91 seasons.