NCAA Mountain West SDSU
KJ Feagin, whose hot hand helped the Aztecs overcome a 16-point deficit against Boise State Friday. Photo credit: @Aztec_MBB, via Twitter

San Diego State survived another first half scare Friday, to beat Boise State 81-68 and earn a spot in the Mountain West championship game Saturday.

The top-seeded Aztecs, now 30-1 on the year and ranked No. 5 in the country, will play second-seed Utah State in the final.

The 25-8 Aggies defeated No. 11 seed Wyoming in the late game in Las Vegas Friday.

San Diego State’s shaky early play continued against No. 5 seed Boise State, despite a promising beginning.

Matt Mitchell, KJ Feagin and Jordan Schakel landed three-pointers to drive the Aztecs to an early lead, but Boise State raced back. For a time, despite SDSU’s top-ranked defense, the Broncos seemed to score at will.

Over more than eight minutes of the half, they set off on a 26-6 run, leading to a 16-point advantage. That matched the largest deficit San Diego State has faced all season – all the way back in November against Iowa.

Then, down 37-21, Schakel and company went to work. Trey Pulliam began a 19-3 run with a lay-up. Malachi Flynn added eight during the nearly five-minute drive, capped by a three from Schakel.

His shot, after a Bronco turnover and less than four seconds before the break, tied the game at 40.  

“We went into halftime with the momentum and I knew we were going to win after that,” Feagin told CBS Sports Network after the game.

He was right. Flynn hit a quick jumper less than a minute into the second half and Boise State, which fell to 20-12, never truly threatened again.

The Mountain West Player of the Year led all scorers with 22, but Feagin and Mitchell had big nights too, adding 21 and 17 each.

The Aztecs also hit 15 three-pointers, tying their season high. The defense rebounded as well, holding the Broncos to 23% shooting in the second half.

The championship game begins at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and will air on KFMB Channel 8. The winner earns a slot in the NCAA Tournament – first-round games begin March 19.

– Staff reports

Updated 10:45 p.m.