Sophomore guard Trey Kell made four 3-pointers and scored 18 points to help San Diego State knock off Georgia Tech 72-56 on Wednesday in San Diego to advance to the NIT Final Four for the second time in school history.
Senior forward Winston Shepard added 12 points and sophomore forward Malik Pope had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the second-seeded Aztecs (28-9). Senior center Skylar Spencer blocked three shots to raise his school-record total to 300 as San Diego State won for the 10th time in 12 games.
Senior guard Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 18 points for the fourth-seeded Yellow Jackets (21-15). Senior forward Charles Mitchell had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Georgia Tech, which lost for just the third time in 11 games.
The Aztecs will face fourth-seeded George Washington (26-10) in Tuesday's semifinals at New York's Madison Square Garden.
The score was tied at halftime but San Diego State never trailed in the second half. Georgia Tech went more than five minutes without a field goal and the Aztecs took advantage as freshman point guard Jeremy Hemsley's driving layup and Kell's straightaway 3-pointer gave San Diego State a 56-45 lead with 6:46 remaining.
Senior forward Nick Jacobs scored on the inside to move the Yellow Jackets within nine with 5:11 to play. Spencer's blocked shot led to Kell's breakaway dunk and junior guard Dakarai Allen added two free throws to make it 62-49 with 3:30 left.
A 3-pointer by Pope that narrowly beat the shot clock gave the Aztecs a 15-point edge with 1:18 remaining.
San Diego State jumped out to an 18-8 advantage just eight-plus minutes into the game. Georgia Tech got back into the game by making 9 of its final 10 field-goal attempts of the half and finally caught the Aztecs at 31 on two free throws by Georges-Hunt with 46.7 seconds remaining.