ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Xavier Thames scored 22 points and No. 16 San Diego State overcame a sluggish start to beat New Mexico 75-70 on Wednesday night for its ninth straight victory.
The Aztecs (16-2, 2-0 Mountain West) also ended New Mexico's winning streak at 13 games.
The Lobos (15-3, 1-1) opened the game with a 10-0 run, with Drew Gordon beginning the spree with a dunk off Kendall Williams' alley-oop pass.
Thames and Chase Tapley helped San Diego State fight back with a 12-2 run that tied it at 12, and the Aztecs took the lead at 28-27 on Tapley's 3-pointer with 2:41 remaining in the first half.
The Aztecs took control midway through the second half behind a 15-0 run that turned a 48-44 deficit into a 59-48 advantage.
The stretch included two 3-pointers from Jamaal Franklin and one from LaBradford Franklin. San Diego State's pushed the advantage to 64-51, before the Lobos tried to rally late behind 3-pointers from Phillip McDonald, who finished with 20 points.
New Mexico controlled the glass, holding a 42-34 edge, including 21-10 on the offensive end, but it could only turn that into 23 second-chance points.
And that wasn't enough to overcome San Diego State's better shooting effort from the field, where it went 27 for 56. It didn't help New Mexico's cause that leading scorer Tony Snell, didn't score until hitting a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left. He was 1 for 6 from the field, with all the attempts coming from behind the arc.