SAN DIEGO - Xavier Thames and Matt Shrigley each made two free throws in the final 9 seconds to complete No. 10 San Diego State's rally from a 16-point second-half deficit for a 51-48 victory over No. 21 New Mexico on Saturday night to win the outright Mountain West Conference title.
Thames finished with 23 points for SDSU (27-3, 16-2), which clinched the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament in Las Vegas. Josh Davis, SDSU's other senior, had nine rebounds.
The first half of the game had fans worried, but students were confident in their team and their winning season.
"We weren't even favored to be in the top two, like let alone where we are right now. It's just been a really great year to watch how good we've been," said SDSU student Taylor Carrico.
The fans rushed the court and black and red confetti fell from the ceiling at Viejas Arena, where the Aztecs were 15-1 this season. Their only home loss was to Arizona on Nov. 14.
Aztecs past and present are savoring Saturday's win.
"It was one of the best comebacks I've ever seen, and it was so loud in there it was hurting our ears, but I'm still on a high. It was a great win for us," said Jack Sword.
Cameron Bairstow scored 20 points and keyed two big runs for New Mexico (24-6, 15-3).
SDSU used a 19-1 run to take a 44-42 lead with 4:59 to go.
The two teams will be the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds in the Mountain West Tournament next weekend in Las Vegas.