National Basketball Association
San Diego St. 77, Nevada 70
When: 9:30 PM ET, Friday, March 12, 2021
Where: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Officials: # DG Nelson, # Eric Curry, # Randy McCall
Attendance: N/A

Mountain West Player of the Year Matt Mitchell scored a team-high 24 points Friday night, helping 19th-ranked San Diego State move into the finals of the conference tournament with a 77-70 victory over Nevada in Las Vegas.

A second win in two nights and 13th straight overall vaults the Aztecs (22-4), the tournament's top seed, into the finals for the fourth consecutive year, where they will face second-seeded Utah State. The Aggies beat third-seeded Colorado State 62-50 late Friday night.

Jordan Schakel collected a game-high-tying nine rebounds to complement 15 points for San Diego State while Trey Pulliam added 13 points and Lamont Butler had 10.

The Aztecs have lost the tournament finale to Utah State each of the past two seasons. Their last championship came in 2018, when they beat New Mexico.

All told, San Diego State has reached the finals of the tournament 13 times in its 22-year history.

Grant Sherfield had a game-high 25 points, Warren Washington 19 and Desmond Cambridge 17 for fifth-seeded Nevada (16-10), which had made it to the semifinals by upsetting fourth-seeded Boise State on Thursday.

Washington tied Schakel for game-high rebound honors with nine. Sherfield also found time for a game-high six assists.

After having played the Aztecs to five- and two-point games on their home court in early January, Nevada hung with the regular-season champs through 17 minutes, forging a 30-all tie on a dunk by Washington.

Butler then had five points in a 7-2 burst to close out the half, before Schakel and Mitchell buried 3-pointers early in the second period, helping San Diego State go up 45-35.

The Aztecs extended the lead to as many as 13 on a 3-pointer by Butler with 10:36 left, and the Wolf Pack managed just one serious run.

Seeking a third straight win, Nevada was within 64-58 with still 6:40 to play after a Washington free throw, but Pulliam countered with a three-point play and San Diego State was able to keep its opponent at arm's length the rest of the way.

One night after the Wolf Pack had scorched the nets for 89 points, they were held to 35.8 percent shooting by the Mountain West's top defensive team.

San Diego State did the same to Wyoming in the quarterfinals, holding the Cowboys to 66 points just 24 hours after they had set a tournament record with a 111-point explosion against San Jose State.

San Diego State never trailed after taking a 9-6 lead on a 3-pointer by Schakel in the fifth minute of the game. The Aztecs led 37-32 at the half.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Nevada   San Diego St.
Grant Sherfield 25 Scoring Matt Mitchell 24
Grant Sherfield 6 Assists Trey Pulliam 4
Warren Washington 9 Rebounds Jordan Schakel 9
Grant Sherfield 11 Free Throws Made Matt Mitchell 9
Kane Milling 3 Steals Terrell Gomez 2
Daniel Foster 2 Blocks Keshad Johnson 1
Team Stats Summary
Team Points FG% 3PM-3PA FTM-FTA Assists Rebounds Blocks Steals Turnovers
Nevada 70 35.8 5-21 27-34 11 33 3 4 14
San Diego St. 77 45.3 9-21 20-32 14 32 3 8 9