SAN DIEGO Lorrenzo Wade scored a career high 28 points to lift San Diego State to a come-from-behind 69-65 upset of league-leader BYU and avenge a painful last-second loss to the Cougars.
Wade fired his way to 16 points in the second half and the Cougars used a ton of fouls unsuccessfully trying to stop him. Wade made 10-of-16 field goals and could have padded his total if he hadn't converted just 8-of-14 from the line.
BYU's defense used 25 fouls to SDSU's 16 trying to stop the Aztecs' penetration but found the effort futile in the end as the Aztecs made a flurry of plays late while the Cougars made just two buckets, both by Jonathan Tavernari, in the final two minutes.
The Aztecs' win ended a nine-game Cougar win streak in the league and stopped BYU's four-game road run through the Mountain West. The Cougars (21-6, 10-2) now travel to New Mexico for a Tuesday game in The Pit. The Aztecs climbed to 18-9, 8-5.
SDSU broke down a 59-53 BYU lead with 7:14 to play in the game by ripping off a 14-4 run to take control of the contest on a Billy White bucket with 3:28 to play in the game.
The Cougars had plenty of chances to stave off the Aztecs in the final minutes, but ran into a rash of self-inflicted mistakes with Lee Cummard and Sam Burgess throwing the ball away and Trent Plaisted and Jonathan Taverari misfiring on open looks in the final half-dozen BYU possessions of the game.
Cummard scored 20 points to lead the Cougars, and he had to rely on Tavernari (12) and Burgess (11) after Plaisted struggled to knock down 3 of his 10 shots in just 24 minutes of playing time.
The Cougars couldn't consistently score inside the paint in this game. The Aztecs, on the other hand could not match BYU's outside firepower (10-of-23 treys) with just 2-of-12 from beyond the arc.
But SDSU kept getting shots inside BYU's defense on drives, jump shots and offensive rebounds and put-back shots. White finished with 15 points and Ryan Amoroso made just three field goals in 10 attempts, but all of them came in a key stretch in the final five minutes of the game.
The game began just like BYU's most recent history here with the Aztec press and pressure defense forcing Cougar mistakes. Shortly after tipoff, time and time again BYU had passes picked for coast-to-coast dunks by Wade and White as SDSU raced to a 15-5 lead in the opening seven minutes.
During the first eight minutes, the Cougars failed to find their big guns as Tavernari took most of the shots and missed, going 1-for-5. During that time, Cummard didn't take a shot and Trent Plaisted had only one shot attempt in the opening seconds of the game.
That changed when Chris Collinsworth buried a 3-point shot from the corner at the 11:22 mark and then Cummard got his first field goal on his first try at the basket with 10:56 left in the first half.
Michael Loyd followed that with a driving jumper and aver Cummard buried a 3-pointer in transition off a pass by Loyd, the Cougars cut the SDSU big lead to 17-15 on a 10-2 run.
Plaisted, who sat out most of the first half, briefly returned to the game and made his first bucket with 7:54 to play, but he then missed a pair inside the key and when he got his second personal foul with 6:08 left. He returned to the bench after clocking just 9 minutes. Unlike his 9 for 9 at CSU more than a week ago, Plaisted made 1 of 5 at the half.
With the game deteriorating with SDSU missing free throws and failing to hit any outside shots and struggling to score inside BYU's defense, the Cougars made another run to end the half on the hot hand of Cummard who knocked down his third trey and got a break-away slam dunk on a steal by Sam Burgess, who took the pick, raced down court and flipped the ball back to Cummard the trailer.
Burgess, playing with two early fouls guarding Wade in the initial minutes of the game, drove in for a layin after Chris Collinsworth blocked a Matt Thomas shot inside the paint and the Cougars led 28-24 before the Aztecs tied the game on a small run to end the half at 29 all, the first time BYU had ended a half in a tie this year.
Burgess led the Cougars out of the break with a pair of 3-point buckets as Tavernari made his first bucket, a corner bomb on BYU's first possession. After Cummard converted a 3-point play from the line at 15:48, the Cougars chiseled out a 43-37 lead a complete turn around from the start if the battle.
The Cougars increased that lead to 40-39 on another Cummard trey, the fifth Cougar 3-point play in a six minute span as the Cougars came out hot, making their first six shots. During that stretch, Wade scored 10 of SDSU's 12 points.Jimmer Fredette made BYU's sixth 3-point play of the second half to give the Cougars a 49-45 lead with 13:45 left.
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