No. 19 San Diego St tops Nevada 77-70, moves into MW final


LAS VEGAS — Matt Mitchell had 24 points and eight rebounds to lead No. 19 San Diego State to a 77-70 victory over Nevada on Friday in the Mountain West Tournament semifinal.

The Aztecs (22-4) advanced to their fourth straight conference championship, and seventh in eight years. San Diego State will make its 15th appearance in the Mountain West title game, where it will play the winner of Friday’s late game between Utah State and Colorado State.

Jordan Schakel scored 15 points, Trey Pulliam added 13 and Lamont Butler chipped in with 10 for the Aztecs.

Grant Sherfield scored 25 points for Nevada (16-10). Warren Washington finished with 19 points, while Desmond Cambridge, Jr. added 17 for the Wolf Pack.

San Diego State has won its last six against Nevada and improved to 4-0 against the Wolf Pack in the tournament.

One night after Nevada’s “Big Three” of Sherfield, Cambridge and Washington combined for 75 points and shot 59% in a seven-point upset of Boise State, the trio combined to shoot 41% from the floor.

Clinging to a five-point edge out of intermission, the Aztecs opened the second half on an 11-5 run, extending their lead to 11, the largest against Nevada in the three games between the teams this season.

Mitchell, the Mountain West player of the year, hit his first five shots of the second half and scored 15 straight points for San Diego State in a little more than five minutes to bolster the team’s second-half run.

The Aztecs hit eight of their first 11 attempts in the second half to distance themselves from the team they had close run-ins with during two regular-season wins.

The Aztecs, who came in ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense (60.3 ppg.) and eighth in field goal percentage defense (38.9%), limited Nevada to 37.5% shooting in the second half.

The Aztecs used an 11-0 run to open a 14-6 lead while the Wolf Pack went without a field goal during a stretch of 7 minutes, 25 seconds.

Cambridge stopped the drought with a 3-pointer and Nevada rallied to pull within 28-27.

San Diego State got good balance from Terrell Gomez, Butler, Schakel and Pulliam in the first half, as the quartet combined to score 26 points on 47.6% shooting.


Nevada: Sherfield, normally a key component to the Wolf Pack offense, was 0 for 6 from the floor during the first half, which included three misses from 3-point range.

San Diego State: It was a night of milestones for three Aztecs. Schakel became the 35th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau, Mitchell now owns a 9-2 mark against Nevada, and Gomez improved to 14-0 as a starter for the Aztecs – the best record for a starting player in school history. As a team, the Aztecs improved to 6-0 while wearing their “Kawhi Leonard-era throwback” shorts.


Nevada: Hopes for an NIT invite

San Diego State: Will play in Saturday’s championship game.

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