But then the Lobos kicked it in gear, and went on a 41-10 run to take control of the semifinal game, and ended the Aggies season with an 83-68 victory.
San Diego State and New Mexico are founding members of the Mountain West and are battling for the automatic berth for the NCAA Tournament.
The Lobos will play in the championship for the first time since 2014 when they meet San Diego State in the final Saturday. What will make this game very interesting is that they are two very different teams from the last time they played on January 20 which saw the Lobos win. Troy Simons led the team with 17 points. The Aggies used an 11-2 run to trim their deficit to 77-68 with 1:51 left, but got no closer. Joe Furstinger and Sam Logwood scored 16 points each. Utah State was led by Sam Merrill who finished with 17 points.
Lobos advance to Mountain West Tournament Championship game. Leading scorer Anthony Mathis and was held scoreless on 0-for-4 shooting, but it hardly mattered on Friday night.
SDSU (21-10), winners of eight consecutive games, knocked off No. 22 Nevada behind all five starters scoring in double figures and an absolutely jaw-dropping first half in which the Aztecs led 55-25 at the break and coasted throughout the second half. New Mexico (19-14), which has won seven in a row, beat the Aztecs 79-75 in the only regular-season matchup between the teams this season.
New Mexico are in great form, they have won their last seven games.