Pokes Come Up Short Against Aztecs, 70-69

March 8, 2002

Box Score

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Al Faux hit a 15-foot jumper with 19 seconds remainingto give San Diego State a 70-69 win over Wyoming to advance to thefinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament.

The Aztecs (20-11) advanced to just their third Division I conferencechampionship game and first since the 1985 Western Athletic Conferencetournament. They will play the winner of Friday's second game betweenUNLV and Utah.

Wyoming had a chance to win the game, but Marcus Bailey's jumper with 4seconds left fell short. The Aztecs' Aerick Sanders grabbed the reboundand was fouled with 1.3 seconds remaining.

Sanders missed both free throws, but Wyoming couldn't get off anothershot.

Faux led the Aztecs with 20 points. Randy Holcomb added 19 points andSanders 10.

Bailey had a season-high 31 points for the Cowboys (21-8). UcheNsonwu-Amadi added 11 points.

The Aztecs, who led throughout its first-round win against BYU, held theadvantage until 7:38 remained in the game as David Rottinghaus made twofree throws to give Wyoming a 59-58 lead.

Bailey hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 62-58 with 5:03 left andthen, after the Aztecs' Mike Mackell made a free throw, added two freethrows to extend the lead to 64-59 with 4:12 remaining.

Faux converted a 3-point play and then hit a jumper to tie the score at64 with 3:07 left. Bailey again gave Wyoming the lead, 67-64, with a3-pointer with 2:34 left.

Sanders followed a missed shot with a layup to bring the Aztecs towithin 67-66 with 2:07 remaining and Holcomb scored off a Faux assist togive the Aztecs a 68-67 lead with 1:30 remaining.

Bailey made two free throws for Wyoming for a 69-68 advantage, settingup Faux' last-minute heroics.

San Diego State led 37-32 at the half behind Holcomb's 12 points andFaux's 10. The Aztecs led by as many as 11 points in the half, but theCowboys came back to pull within 34-32 with 1:01 left.

In the final minute, Holcomb made three of four free throws to build thelead back up to five.