Xavier Thames scored 30 points and San Diego
State's second-ranked scoring defense shut down North Dakota State 63-44 in the
third round of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament Saturday, March
22, at the Spokane Arena.
North Dakota State, the No. 12 seed in the West Region, finished its season 26-7 overall, tying the school record for victories. No. 4 seed San Diego State improved to 31-4 and advanced to the Sweet 16 regional semifinals beginning March 27 in Anaheim.
Kory Brown tied a career-high with 13 points and was the only North Dakota State player in double figures. The Bison, who had scored at least 56 points in every game before Saturday, shot a season-low 31.9 percent from the field including 2 of 11 from the 3-point line.
NDSU led by as many as five points with 6:11 left in the first half when Marshall Bjorklund's layup made it 20-15, but the Bison went without a field goal the rest of the way as San Diego State took a 30-23 lead into the halftime locker room. Thames made four 3-pointers and had 16 points at the break.
The Bison were within 49-42 with 6:30 to play but managed just a pair of free throws from that point.
Josh Davis had a game-high 13 rebounds and the Aztecs had a 38-27 advantage on the glass.