The No. 21 San Diego State Aztecs defeated the Colorado State Rams 71-61 at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colorado. The Aztecs improved to 11-1, and the Rams fell to 9-5.
Xavier Thames led SDSU with 23 points, three rebounds, and five steals in the Mountain West Conference opener. Thames has dominated throughout the season, and continued to do so in Fort Collins. Winston Shepard added 17 points, and Josh Davis grabbed a monstrous 15 boards.
The Aztecs controlled the tempo, keeping the Rams from closing a nine-point halftime deficit. Colorado State got within four points at 15:32 in the second, but San Diego State kept it a three score game for most of the second half.
With 1:11 to go, the Rams resorted to a fouling strategy. SDSU sealed the deal at the line, hitting eight of ten free throws, to win by a comfortable margin.
Next game: The Aztecs play at Kansas on Sunday at 4:30 pm ET on CBS. The Rams play at New Mexico on Saturday at 6 pm ET.