San Diego State upsets No. 8 New Mexico 72-69 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

San Diego State upsets No. 8 New Mexico 72-69

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Dairese Gary missed a runner in the final second and San Diego State escaped with a 72-69 upset of eighth-ranked New Mexico in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament Friday night.

The top-seeded Lobos (29-4) saw their 15-game winning streak snapped and, in all likelihood, their hopes of a No. 2 seed in the NCAA tournament were dashed.

Trailing 70-69, the Lobos had the ball under their basket with 7.4 seconds left. Gary grabbed the inbounds pass and sped upcourt but stumbled at the top of the key and didn't get off a clean shot.

Kawhi Leonard grabbed the rebound for the Aztecs (24-8) and was fouled by A.J. Hardeman with seven-tenths of a second left. He sank both shots and Gary was way short on a desperation heave that would've sent it into overtime.

The fourth-seeded Aztecs will face either BYU or UNLV for the conference championship Saturday night.

The Lobos had been 24-0 this season when taking a lead into the locker room, as they did Friday night, and 12-0 in games decided by six points or less.

Billy White led the Aztecs with 28 points and Leonard added 15 points and 13 rebounds as San Diego State advanced to the title game for the second straight year. Last time, they lost by two points to Utah.

The Aztecs split with the Lobos during the regular season, winning by 10 at home on Jan. 5 and losing by a bucket in overtime at the Pit in Albuquerque a month later.

The Lobos hadn't lost since Jan. 9, and were counting on a conference tournament title to go with their regular-season crown to earn them a No. 2 seed when the NCAA field is announced Sunday.

Gary's 17 points led New Mexico, which fell behind by 12 points in the first four minutes as the Aztecs hit their first four 3-pointers, two of them by Leonard, to race out to a 14-2 lead. The Lobos didn't take their first lead until Gary sank a rim-ringing jumper with 5 seconds left in the first half, giving New Mexico a 39-38 lead at the break.

The Aztecs trailed 55-52 when Leonard's finger-roll basket and 3-pointer keyed a 10-0 run that gave San Diego State a 62-55 cushion, its largest since early in the first half. During the spurt, New Mexico's Darington Hobson, the league's newcomer and player of the year, had a couple of costly turnovers.

But Hobson's two baskets underneath after a 3-pointer by Roman Martinez tied it at 60, and Hardeman's fourth put-back bucket of the second half gave the Lobos a 64-62 lead.

White responded with back-to-back baskets, including a three-point play with 1:55 left that put San Diego State ahead 67-64.

D.J. Gay's 3-pointer with just over a minute remaining gave San Diego State a 70-66 lead, but Gary's 3-pointer made it a one-point game.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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