LAS VEGAS Lee Cummard's 20 points led 24th-ranked BYU past pesky San Diego State 63-54 in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference tournament on Friday night, sending the Cougars to the championship for the second straight year.
Trent Plaisted added 19 points for the Cougars (27-6), who neutralized the Aztecs' leading scorer, Lorrenzo Wade, who never got into a rhythm and was held to 10 points.
BYU edged the Aztecs by three and four points during conference play but pulled away down the stretch on this night and made sure this one wasn't as much of a nail-biter.
BYU will face the UNLV-Utah winner for the conference title Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center. The Cougars were also the top seed last year, when they lost to UNLV in the title game.
Plaisted's three-point play and bank shot put the Cougars ahead 51-41 with five minutes to go and the Aztecs (20-12) couldn't get closer than six the rest of the way as BYU sank 8-of-10 free throws to fend off San Diego State.
Ryan Amoroso's 18 points led the Aztecs, who are hoping for a NIT bid.
Wade picked up two quick fouls in the opening minutes of the game and took a seat for the final 17 minutes of the first half, which ended with the Cougars ahead by just 26-25.
He played the entire second half but made just five of his 14 shots.
The Cougars, who set a program record with 25 regular season wins, outscored the Aztecs 16-7 from the stripe, making 16-of-21 free throws. Cummard led the way by sinking all six of his foul shots, including four in the final minute to thwart the Aztecs' comeback hopes.
BYU, which went a league-record 14-2 in conference play, has reached the MWC championship game three other times, winning it in 2001.