REBELS BASKETBALL:

White, Wade relish homecoming victory

Las Vegas natives key on both ends for surging Aztecs

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Justin M. Bowen

Kyle Spain of San Diego State lays it in over the Rebels defense Tuesday night as the Rebels took on the Aztecs at the Thomas & Mack Center. San Diego State beat UNLV in overtime.

Aztecs Spear Rebels

After winning four straight, the Rebels fall to San Diego State in overtime 68-66 Tuesday night at the Thomas & Mack. With the win the Aztecs take over sole possession of first place in the Mountain West Conference standings.

UNLV vs. San Diego State

The Rebels take on the Aztecs in the Thomas and Mack Center. San Diego St. beat UNLV in overtime, 68-66. Launch slideshow »

UNLV Fan Photos

Photos of fans from Tuesday's game against San Diego State Launch slideshow »
The Rebel Room

SDSU POSTGAME: Another forgettable mess

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Ryan Greene and Rob Miech discuss UNLV's 68-66 overtime loss to San Diego State, a game which was marred by an abundance of foul calls and absent offensive flow. The guys talk about just what the Aztecs did to stymie UNLV's recently consistent offensive attack, plus just how hard it will be for the Rebels to bounce back in The Pit on Saturday night.

Beyond the Sun

Billy White thought at one point that he'd just hit the game winner.

Instead, he was fine with leaving the Thomas & Mack Center a winner Tuesday night, as his San Diego State squad topped UNLV in overtime, 68-66.

"It took me two years to do it," the sophomore forward and Green Valley High grad said. "It just feels so good to see my family, see my friends and get a good win on a Las Vegas floor."

With 12.7 seconds remaining in regulation, White made a move off the block and put a bucket in off the glass, which appeared to move the Aztecs ahead by a point at 60-59.

But instead, official Dave Hall charged toward center court with a call against the Rebels, which sent White to the line in the double bonus. White hit the first and missed the second. Overtime.

"I thought we won already," White added. "We had to step up a little more and get the 'W' in overtime, and we did."

From there, he and his teammates saw senior wing Kyle Spain cash a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws in the extra frame, as SDSU won at UNLV for the first time since 2006.

"In the heat of the moment, those were big-time shots," said Spain, who led all scorers with 17 points. "Any game on the road is a big win. If you want to win the conference, you've got to win on the road."

Lorrenzo Wade -- San Diego State's second Las Vegas native -- expanded on that.

"I think it gives us the momentum right now," he said. "This was a good win for us because we lost at Wyoming, so you've got to get a win somewhere else on the road."

Winning in front of family and friends who were seated in the rows directly behind SDSU's bench seemed to drive White all night. He brought service with a smile, flashing toothy grins after each of his two power dunks and following an emphatic second-half block of an Oscar Bellfield baseline jumper.

For Wade, it was also his first win at the Mack in an SDSU uniform. He was sitting out during the 2005-06 season per NCAA transfer rules after coming in from Louisville.

"My mom takes this game more seriously than I think anyone else does," he said. "So it's good to put a smile on her face."

Wade was one of four Aztecs to finish in double figures, tallying 12 points on just 3-of-16 shooting, including an 0-for-7 showing from 3-point range. But his mom still had plenty to be proud of as she came to meet her son before he boarded the team bus. He was as valuable as any Aztec on the defensive end, using his length and height to make UNLV leading scorer Wink Adams uncomfortable all night.

SDSU forced UNLV to commit 14 turnovers, and turned them into 18 points on the other end. The league's top defensive team allowed the Rebels in regulation exactly what they came into Tuesday night surrendering to opponents on average -- 59 points.

Steve Fisher's club now returns to San Diego to host Air Force on Saturday night, and avoiding complacency will be key against this year's Mountain West cellar-dwellers.

At the very least, the Aztecs will enjoy 24 hours alone atop the Mountain West heap at 6-2. Utah is 5-2 heading into Wednesday night's road contest at TCU.

"Before we played, coach said this was a big game and if we win, it's gonna put us ahead of everybody," White said. "So now we're ahead of everybody. We can't go into cruise control. We've got to play everybody like we played tonight."

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