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Senior guard Gian Clavell’s driving layup with 3.8 seconds remaining lifted Colorado State’s men’s basketball team to a thrilling 78-77 victory at defending Mountain West regular-season champion San Diego State, Jan. 28. With their first win in San Diego since 2003, the Rams improved to 14-8 overall and 6-3 in MW play, while the Aztecs fell to 11-9 and 3-5 in the MW.

CSU trailed by as many as 13 with 16:16 to play, but chipped away and got the deficit down to just 1 at 50-49 just five minutes later. From there, SDSU bounced the lead back to as many as six before the visitors were able to tie it up at 64 on a 3-pointer from senior forward Emmanuel Omogbo. The teams were again tied at 66 before Clavell refused to be denied in the final minutes, scoring CSU’s final 12 points of the game, missing just a single field goal attempt down the stretch. The Rams led by as many as four at 76-72 with 1:31 to play, but the Aztecs took their final lead of the game with 10.1 seconds left on a pair of Trey Kell free throws, setting up the late game drama for the victory.

The two teams went back and forth in the first half, as there were five ties and six lead changes when the Rams took a 23-22 lead. However, the host Aztecs closed the last four minutes of the half on an 11-0 run and took a 33-23 advantage into the halftime break.

CSU hitting 45.9 percent (28-of-61) of its shots, including a blistering 61.3 percent (19-of-31) in the second half. San Diego State finished at 44.8 percent (26-of-58) on its field goal attempts. The Rams connected on 7-of-8 from the three-point arc in the second half to finish 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) for the game while the Aztecs were just 6-of-22 (27.3 percent). Free throws were again a key for CSU, as the Rams were 12-of-14 (85.7 percent) from the charity stripe.

The Rams were led by their seniors Clavell and Omogbo, who combined for 61 points on the day. Clavell scored a career-high 37 points, including going 11-of-14 from the floor in the second half, and added eight rebounds and two blocks. Omogbo also had a career high with 24 points, including a career-best four 3-pointers, while chipping in a game-high nine rebounds and three assists. SDSU had five players in double figures, led by Mailk Pope’s 19 points.