Logan, UT (SportsNetwork.com) - Xavier Thames had a career-high 31 points, including 10 in overtime, and seventh-ranked San Diego State won its 17th consecutive game by edging Utah State, 74-69, Saturday night.
Winston Shepard added 10 points for the Aztecs (18-1, 7-0 MWC), whose only loss came to current No. 1 Arizona, on Nov. 14.
Spencer Butterfield, who put the game into overtime by draining a 3-pointer in the closing seconds, led the Aggies with 19 points. Jalen Moore added 16 points and seven rebounds for Utah State (12-7, 2-5 MWC), which lost its third straight game. Preston Medlin went 4-of-7 from 3-point range and scored 12 in defeat.
Butterfield drained a 3-point shot two minutes into OT and had a chance to expand the lead, but missed another long-distance shot.
Thames then sank a jumper for a 63-62 SDSU edge, and Skylar Spencer came up with a block on Jordan Stone. That led to another Thames bucket, a 3-pointer, this after Thames lost the ball out of bounds on the dribble. The ball was originally awarded to the Aggies, but was changed following a replay showing the ball went off the leg of Stone.
"We were lucky to get overtime, then Thames took over the game," Utah State coach Stew Morrill said. "Our guys played really, really hard. They made a lot of big shots and gave themselves a chance. We just have to find a way down the stretch."
The Aztecs made enough free throws down the stretch to hold on.
"This is what you're going to have when you get on the road. This is college basketball anywhere. This is my first trip here and it's an incredible atmosphere," San Diego State coach Steve Fisher said.
San Diego State led by as many as eight points in the first half, but carried only a 28-24 edge into the break. It was tight throughout the second half, although the Aggies could have expanded their lead to six points on a few occasions with under eight minutes left.
The score remained at 52-48 for 3 1/2 minutes. During that time, Utah State committed a crucial offensive foul when Jarred Shaw bowled over Spencer with 4:25 remaining.
The Aztecs went nearly five minutes without a point until Aqeel Quinn made two foul shots for a 52-50 margin. Josh Davis' layup tied the game with 3 1/2 minutes to go.