Trey Kell scored 17 points, Malik Pope added 15 and top-seeded San Diego State held off Utah State 71-65 in the Mountain West Conference quarterfinals on Thursday.
The Aztecs (24-8) made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 5.8 seconds to beat the ninth-seeded Aggies (16-15) and advance to the semifinals against fifth-seeded Nevada.
Winston Shepard’s free throw with 10.3 seconds left put San Diego State on top 64-61 but when he missed the second, the Aztecs decided to foul the Aggies before they could shoot a 3.
The teams traded free throws until Utah State got called for an intentional foul with 3.8 seconds to play, which allowed the Aztecs to make it a two-possession game.
Both teams were 19 of 30 from the foul line, with 11 makes in the second half – but SDSU was 11 of 15, Utah State 11 of 19.
Lew Evans had 15 points and Jalen Moore 14 for the Aggies.
Nevada 64, New Mexico 62 – Freshman Cameron Oliver had a career high 26 points with 15 rebounds and four blocks, one with 3.5 seconds to play to lift the Wolf Pack past the No. 4 Lobos.
With a 63-62 lead, Nevada’s Eric Cooper, an 85 percent foul shooter, missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 15.7 seconds left. Fourth-seeded New Mexico whipped the ball around to Cullen Neal in the right corner but Oliver closed quickly for the swat. Lindsey Drew leaped out of bounds to grab the ball and threw it back in to Cooper, who was fouled with a half-second left. He had a make and a miss and the clock ran out.
Sam Logwood put New Mexico ahead with a layup with 47.1 seconds remaining but Tyron Criswell quickly answered with a contested layup for Nevada at 36.5 seconds, the 16th lead change.
Criswell had 20 points for the Wolf Pack (19-12\.
Elijah Brown had 26 points for New Mexico (17-15) and Logwood had 16.
Mountain West Tournament
At The Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas
Wednesday, March 9
No. 9 Utah State 88, No. 8 Wyoming 70
No. 7 UNLV 108, No. 10 Air Force 102 (3OT)
No. 6 Colorado State 80, No. 11 San Jose State 61
Thursday, March 10
No. 1 San Diego State 71, Utah State 65.
No. 5 Nevada 64, No. 5 New Mexico 62
No. 2 Fresno State vs. UNLV, 6 p.m.
No. 3 Boise State vs. Colorado State, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, March 11
San Diego State vs. Nevada, 6 p.m.
Fresno State-UNLV winner vs. Boise State-Colorado State winner, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 12
Semifinal winners, 3 p.m.