San Diego State was comfortably on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble after their road win at Wyoming Monday. That almost changed at home Thursday night.
Fresno State pushed the Aztecs to double overtime, but ran out of answers in a 65-64 San Diego State victory.
Matt Bradley led all scorers with 26 points. He was the lone SDSU player to reach double figures.
At one point this game appeared headed towards a lopsided outcome. San Diego State led 20-10 following a first half three-pointer from Bradley. The Aztecs, who have had rough spells offensively often this season, struggled to find a rhythm after pulling ahead by 10. They managed just seven points in the final 9:52 of the half, seeing their lead shrink to three at the break.
After taking a 39-34 lead with 12:34 remaining in regulation, San Diego State went more than four minutes without scoring. Fresno State scored nine unanswered to pull ahead 43-39.
The Aztecs used a 6-0 run late in the second half to lead 52-49 and set up a frantic final minute. Trey Pulliam hit a runner to give his team a 54-51 edge. The Bulldogs caught San Diego State out of position on defense in the closing seconds, freeing up Junior Ballard for an open three-pointer to tie it at 54 and send the game to overtime.
With 1:38 left in the extra session Bradley hit a difficult baseline jumper to give San Diego State another three-point edge. With 47 seconds left Orlando Robinson pulled down an offensive rebound and converted a three-point play to send the game to a second OT.
Bradley knocked down a pair of free throws with 2:17 on the clock, giving SDSU a 65-54 lead. A Keshad Johnson block with 14 seconds got the ball back to the Aztecs, giving them a chance to take a three-point advantage. Pulliam missed two free throws to keep the door open for Fresno State, but Isaiah Hill missed a last second three-pointer to seal San Diego State's victory.
Brian Dutcher's team is 9-2 in their last 11 games, with both losses coming by one point. They wrap up the regular season Saturday at Nevada.