SAN DIEGO (AP) — Xavier Thames made four free throws in the final 12.2 seconds and No. 24 San Diego State escaped with a 65-64 win against San Diego on Thursday night after Duda Sanadze's 3-point shot bounced off the rim as time expired.
Thames finished with 17 points and Josh Davis had 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Aztecs (6-1), who were playing for the first time since jumping into The Associated Press Top 25 following their title run in the Wooden Legacy.
The Aztecs beat the crosstown rival Toreros (7-3) for the eighth straight year.
Sanadze made two free throws with 4.8 seconds left to pull San Diego within one point. SDSU then lost the ball out of bounds to give the smaller, scrappier Toreros a shot at the victory before Sanadze missed.
Christopher Anderson scored 22 points for the Toreros. Johnny Dee added 21 and Sanadze 12.
Skylar Spencer and Dwayne Polee had 12 points each for San Diego State.
SDSU led 57-47 with 6:30 left before going cold from the field. Its last field goal was Davis' left-handed layup with 5:25 left.
USD rallied behind Dee, who made consecutive 3-pointers to help pull the Toreros to 61-60 with 1:37 left.
USD's Dennis Kramer lost the ball out of bounds with 16.6 seconds to go. Thames was fouled by Anderson and made two free throws with 12.2 seconds left. Sanadze hit two with 7.4 seconds remaining, Thames made two more with 5.9 seconds to play and Sanadze sank two with 4.8 seconds left to make it a one-point game again.
Thames and Polee made consecutive 3-pointers to help the Aztecs take a 47-41 lead with 13 minutes to go. JJ O'Brien had a big blocked shot and Davis made two free throws. Davis had a steal that led to Polee's slam dunk, and Thames made one of two free throws for SDSU's biggest lead, 57-47, with 6:30 left.
SDSU appeared to be pulling away with 5½ minutes left in the first half when Winston Shepard converted a three-point play and Thames made a baseline jumper for a 25-19 lead.
But the Toreros outscored the Aztecs 13-7 to forge a 32-all halftime tie.
After Sanadze and Dee made layups, Anderson hit a 3-pointer and was fouled. He made the free throw for a four-point play. Dee hit a 3-pointer and Thomas Jacobs made a layup.
SDSU's only scoring in that stretch was a jumper by Polee, single free throws by Dakarai Allen and O'Brien, and a 3-pointer by Polee.