Las Vegas, NV – In the end, it was San Diego State who punched the Runnin’ Rebels’ ticket out of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. UNLV needed to win the Mountain West Tournament to get in but fell to the Aztecs Friday night 59-51 in the semi finals.
The Runnin’ Rebels jumped out to a 7-0 lead early in the game. Just past the 10-minute mark of the first half SDSU wrestled away control of the game and never fully relinquished it, eventually building a 15-point lead of their own midway through the second half, 48-33. With less than a minute remaining, UNLV pulled within six points at 54-48 but never got closer.
Deville Smith poured in 17 for the Runnin’ Rebels while Khem Birch was big on the boards pulling down 15 rebounds; 13 on the defensive end. Mountain West Conference Player of the Year Xavier Thames scored 17 points for San Diego State.