No. 10 San Diego State rallies past UNLV - NBC Sports

No. 10 San Diego State rallies past UNLV
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UNLV's Khem Birch, of Canada, right, blocks a short from Colorado State's Carlton Hurst during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
March 6, 2014, 1:26 am

LAS VEGAS (AP) Xavier Thames scored 19 points to lead No. 10 San Diego State to a 73-64 win over UNLV on Wednesday night.

San Diego State (26-3, 15-2 Mountain West) closed the game on a 13-2 run over the final 3:04 to seal its 26th victory of the season, matching the second-highest single-season total in school history. The Aztecs also won a school-record 15th conference game of the season, breaking the previous mark of 14, set in 2010-11.

San Diego State, which has now won eight of its last 11 against the Rebels, finished 27-for-63 from the field, including 6 of 14 from 3-point range. After falling behind 62-61 with 3:23 left in the game, Thames completed a three-point play to ignite the Aztecs' final scoring spree.

The Aztecs, who are 12-2 away from home, are now 11-4 inside the Thomas and Mack Center since the 2010 Mountain West Tournament. This year's tournament begins March 12 at the T&M.

Thames was one of four Aztecs scoring in double figures, as Matt Shrigley added 14 and Winston Shepard and Dwayne Polee II each had 13.

Khem Birch had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead UNLV (19-11, 10-7). Kevin Olekaibe added 10 for the Runnin' Rebels.

San Diego State took a 12-5 lead in the game, but UNLV used a 10-0 run over a four-minute span midway through the first half to take a 15-12 lead. The Rebels extended their lead to six, 20-14, with 8:41 left, but the Aztecs battled back with a 15-5 run to take a 29-25 lead with 4:39 left until halftime. From there UNLV closed out the half on a 9-4 run to take a 34-33 lead into the locker room.

But after shooting 13 of 25 from the field in the first half, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range, the Rebels shot a bleak 7 of 27 from the floor, and were an abysmal 2-for-12 from beyond the arc in the second half.

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