LAS VEGAS (AP) — Matt Bradley scored 16 points and Jadon Leddy added 13 to lead 20th-ranked San Diego…
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Matt Bradley scored 16 points and Jadon LeDee added 13 to lead No. 20 San Diego State to a 62-57 victory over Utah State in Saturday’s Mountain West Tournament championship game.
The Aztecs (27-6) claimed their seventh tournament title and second in three years. It was also their record 15th title game appearance.
San Diego State earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament, though there was never any doubt the Aztecs would be selected. It remains to be seen what seed San Diego State will receive.
Utah State (26-8) also plans to make the tournament when selections are announced Sunday.
It was the fourth time in the last five years that the teams played each other in the Mountain West championship game. In 2019 and 2020, Utah State won the championship, and in 2021, San Diego State went home with the cup. Boise State temporarily ended the monopoly last season with a 53-52 victory over the Aztecs.
Neither team shot well Saturday, with San Diego State making 33.3 percent of its shots compared to Edge’s 37.1 percent.
No San Diego State player reached double figures in scoring except for Leddy and Mitchell. Stephen Ashworth had 13 points and Trevin Dorius had 12 for Utah State.
However, the Aggies were hot early, going on a 12-2 run in the first half to take a 26-15 lead with 6:57 left, but then cooled off. They didn’t get another field goal until 1:43 left in the second half, but somehow didn’t trail in that stretch.
But the Aztecs came close and eventually went back and forth with Utah State in the second half. San Diego State nearly put the game away, going up 53-46 with 3:03 left, but the Aggies got back to within three points with 48 seconds left and within two points with 30.3 seconds left.
San Diego State finished the game at the free throw line, making 9 of 10 free throws in the final 43 seconds.
THE BIG PICTURE
Utah State: The Aggies entered the game fourth nationally in 3-point percentage at 40.1, but struggled mightily against San Diego State’s long, athletic defense. Utah State made just 4 of 24 three-point attempts.
San Diego State: The Aztecs are coming in waves. Nine players were in the game and each was on the floor for at least 16 minutes and eight for at least 19. All nine scored and grabbed rebounds.
Utah State: The Aggies are ranked No. 18 in the NET rankings, so it would be pretty surprising if they weren’t selected for the NCAA Tournament.
San Diego State: A potential No. 6 seed could be in San Diego State’s way, but the Aztecs could also work their way up to No. 5.
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