Honolulu, HI – Jamaal Franklin poured in a game-high 19 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to lead 18th-ranked San Diego State to a 62-55 win over Indiana State in the semifinal round of the Diamond Head Classic.
Chase Tapley added 13 points and Xavier Thames dropped in 12 for the Aztecs (11-1), who will face No. 4 Arizona in the tournament championship on Tuesday.
R.J. Mahurin paced the Sycamores (6-4) with 15 points and five rebounds and Manny Arop scored 13 in the loss.
Arop's jumper with just seven minutes left knotted the game at 42-42, but the Aztecs opened up a 9-2 surge -- capped off with Tapley's triple -- to take a 51-44 lead with 4:40 to go.
Indiana State scored the next four points to pull within 51-48, but a reverse alley-oop to Franklin pushed the SDSU lead to five.
Arop countered with a jumper with 2:20 left to make it a three-point game, but the Aztecs scored the next four points to make it 57-50.
Arop's 3-ball with 38 seconds left barely hit the backboard, but Mahurin cleaned up the miss and was fouled on the putback. He converted the free throw to make it 57-53 with just 35 ticks showing.
The Sycamores were forced to foul Thames, who buried the subsequent free throws, but Indiana State's Jake Odum came back with a layup seven seconds later to make it 59-55.
Franklin then sunk a pair from the line, and Arop came up short on a 3-point try with 16 seconds left.
Tapley split a pair of free throws with nine seconds left to account for the final margin.
The teams traded blows for most of the first half until Tapley's 3-pointer gave SDSU a 20-13 advantage just past the midway point of the period. Indiana State, though, rallied back and pulled within 24-23 at the 3:18 mark.
A pair of JJ O'Brien buckets pushed the Aztecs' cushion back to 28-23, but Dawon Cummings added a bucket for the Sycamores late in the frame to make it 28-25 at the break.
This was SDSU's first win against Indiana State. The programs hadn't met since 1967, but the Sycamores held a 3-0 lead in the all-time series entering the contest ... The Aztecs are of to their second-best start in school history. They won their first 20 games in 2010-11 ... Indiana State went 9-of-10 from the free throw line.