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NCAA Game Summary - North Dakota State vs. San Diego State



(Saturday, March 22nd)

Final Score: San Diego State 63, North Dakota State 44

Spokane, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - Xavier Thames and San Diego State are headed back home to California and the Sweet 16.

Thames scored 30 points and the Aztecs pulled away to beat North Dakota State 63-44 on Saturday to reach the NCAA Tournament's regional semifinals for the second time in four years.

Thames, who averaged 17 points per game entering Saturday, had 16 in the first half on the strength of four 3-pointers -- the last coming during a 15-3 run that gave the Aztecs the lead for good.

Later, the senior guard scored six straight Aztec points to push his team's lead to 12 with under 3 1/2 minutes left.

"I know it was a big game," said Thames, "(but) it wasn't just me, it was my teammates getting me open, us playing team defense. I did feel pretty good coming into the game, but without my teammates I wouldn't have had the game I had."

Dwayne Polee II added 15 points and Josh Davis had 13 rebounds for the fourth- seeded Aztecs (31-4), who advanced in the West Region to face the winner of Sunday's game between top-seeded Arizona and eighth-seeded Gonzaga.

Their next game will be a 90-minute drive from campus at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., where they faced eventual national champion Connecticut in the 2011 Sweet 16 and where they beat Marquette on Dec. 1 to win the Wooden Legacy.

"When we saw our name called we knew we were going to Spokane and everybody had it in the back of their mind that if we win two games we're going to be playing in Anaheim," said Thames. "But we wanted to come out and win the first game and then win the second game ... It was a two-game tournament and we wanted to get two wins and that's what we did."

Kory Brown led 12th-seeded North Dakota State (26-7) with 13 points while Taylor Braun -- the Bison's leading scorer at 18.0 points per game coming in -- scored seven on just 2-of-14 shooting.

Braun is one of six seniors on the team that coach Saul Phillips said elevated the program "to heights once unimaginable."

"And you know what? We didn't have it tonight," said Phillips. "We couldn't figure it out. We couldn't get the mystery solved."

The Aztecs kicked off their fifth straight NCAA Tournament appearance with a nail-biter on Thursday, eventually beating New Mexico State 73-69 in overtime after giving up a 9-2 run to the Aggies in the final minute of regulation.

There was no such drama against the Summit League-champion Bison, who knocked off No. 5 seed Oklahoma on Thursday for the program's first NCAA Tournament victory.

Thames' six straight SDSU points were part of a 14-2 run over the last 6 1/2 minutes to seal the win.

The Aztecs are on a roll, provided they aren't playing Mountain West champion New Mexico. Their only two losses in their last 12 games both came against the Lobos -- the second in the conference title game on March 15.

Marshall Bjorklund's layup gave NDSU a 20-15 lead before the Aztecs' run to end the first half.

Brown picked the Bison up while Braun struggled, leading them with nine points in the half. The team shot just 28.6 percent in the half and 31.9 percent in the game.

Polee said the plan of defense was to focus on Braun, the Summit League Player of the year.

"We really made an emphasis to kind of cut his water off," said Polee, "and I think it was a team effort and we did just that."

Game Notes

The Aztecs lead the all-time series 4-0 ... NDSU went scoreless for more than five minutes near the end of the game ... Bjorklund scored eight points ... Thames, the Mountain West Player of the Year, had five assists.

03/22 21:31:00 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
4th
CHA 82
POR 87
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
 
2nd
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
4th
PHI 74
BRK 76
 
4th
ORL 69
GSW 92
 
4th
CHA 82
POR 87
 
3rd
CLE 78
WAS 65
 
Half
DET 51
LAC 48
 
Half
DAL 46
NYK 42
 
Half
ATL 61
TOR 64
 
2nd
MIN 43
MIL 47
 
2nd
HOU 52
SAC 35
 
2nd
OKC 48
UTA 44
 
1st
SAN 20
IND 18
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
Final
UWMIL 66
ORU 69
Final
WCU 66
CHIST 61
Final
DUKE 93
FUR 54
Final
BYU 85
PURD 87
 
Final
EVAN 79
USF 72
 
Final
COL 71
GTDNS 75
 
Final
VERM 73
BRY 47
 
2nd
OSU 91
CAMP 62
 
2nd
LOU 45
CLST 33
 
Final
UCF 69
DAVID 95
 
Final
IONA 126
DELST 76
 
Final
OU 78
UGST 83
 
Final
TOWS 97
GOUCHER 43
 
Final
ND 81
GRAM 54
 
Final
YALE 82
LAF 60
 
2nd
GWU 78
LONG 58
 
2nd
VT 72
UMO 47
 
2nd
WAKE 80
MNTER 46
 
Final
NAVY 67
PSUHARRIS 42
 
Final
NCSU 84
RICH 72
 
2nd
MINN 59
STJ 58
 
Final
JVU 69
TRINBAPT 57
 
2nd
YOUNG 60
UMKC 59
 
Final
UAB 43
WISC 72
 
2nd
CORN 51
CAN 46
 
2nd
WVU 70
VMI 48
 
Half
DEP 30
LEH 41
 
Half
UNT 41
MVSU 27
 
1st
MARS 37
MORE 50
 
Half
TCU 31
RAD 20
 
Half
SELA 34
TENT 48
 
Half
SMU 32
TXSOU 25
 
Half
UTAH 50
TXPA 26
 
1st
LMU 29
UCR 31
 
Half
SCAR 37
UNCA 29
 
Half
SD 47
WAYNEST 40
 
Half
PITT 30
KYST 27
 
1st
UWGB 15
FLGC 6
 
1st
IOWA 13
NILL 6
 
9:00pm Tonight
ORST
AUB
9:00pm Tonight
MONT
CARROLLMT
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
EKENT
9:00pm Tonight
NMST
FAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
WYO
STET
 
9:05pm Tonight
EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
WLVRN
 
9:30pm Tonight
GEOR
UF
9:30pm Tonight
GONZ
UGA
9:30pm Tonight
NIOWA
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
ARZ
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
CPSL
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UTST
10:30pm Tonight
NDAK
ALAST
11:00pm Tonight
CSNO
PORST
11:30pm Tonight
AKAN
PAC
11:30pm Tonight
OKST
TULSA
2nd Intermission
NYI 2
WAS 2
 
2nd Intermission
BUF 0
WIN 2
 
2nd
FLA 1
CAR 0
 
2nd
TAM 3
NYR 2
 
2nd
DET 2
PHI 1
 
2nd
PIT 2
TOR 1
 
1st Intermission
MIN 0
LOS 4
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL