LOGAN, Utah -- Xavier Thames scored 31 points, including 10 in overtime, and No. 7 San Diego State held off pesky Utah State 74-69 on Saturday night for its 17th straight victory. Thames made the go-ahead basket in the extra session to help the Aztecs (18-1, 7-0 Mountain West) win for the 16th time in their last 17 overtime games. Spencer Butterfield had 19 points and Jalen Moore added a career-high 16 for the Aggies (12-7, 2-5), who lost at home for the second time this season. Butterfield hit a 3-pointer over two defenders with 2.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. He drained another 3 to put Utah State up 62-61 with 3:03 left, but Thames put a halt to the rally. He nailed a jumper that put San Diego State ahead for good with 1:50 remaining and made a 3 with 49.6 seconds left to make it 66-62. SDSU shot 8 of 10 on free throws in the final 38.9 seconds to seal the victory. San Diego State tied it at 48 on a 3 by Thames with 8:57 left, but Utah State went back in front with a pair of quick baskets. The Aggies took a 52-48 lead when Marcel Davis stole the ball and fed Moore with 7:47 remaining. The Aztecs went 5 1/2 minutes without a field goal down the stretch before Josh Davis tied it at 52 on a jumper with 3:27 left. Davis finally put San Diego State back in front when he scored again to make it 55-54 with 1:50 left. San Diego State appeared to be in good position to escape with a close win in regulation after Thames made two free throws with 16.1 seconds left. Butterfield changed that with his 3 from the right wing that tied it at 57. After a timeout, Thames corralled a long pass at the other end but missed a tough jumper at the buzzer. San Diego State struggled to overcome poor shooting early. The Aztecs missed 10 of their first 12 shots from the field and shot just 33 per cent (10 of 30) before halftime. Utah State had a difficult time taking advantage. The Aztecs used a smothering defence to pressure USU into turnovers. SDSU forced seven Aggies turnovers before halftime and five of those came on steals. San Diego State also dominated the glass, holding a 10-5 edge in offensive rebounds during the first half. The Aztecs made the most of it, outscoring Utah State 13-6 in second-chance points. All that helped SDSU create a little breathing room before halftime. The teams traded baskets for most of the half and the Aggies took a 15-14 lead on Ben Cliffords jumper with 9:31 left. San Diego State responded by going on a 10-1 run over the next 6 minutes to take a 24-16 lead. Winston Shepard hit a jumper and Josh Davis drove in for a layup on back-to-back possessions to cap the spurt with 3:42 remaining before halftime. Utah State started mounting a rally toward the end of the half. Butterfield scored with 59 seconds left to trim SDSUs lead to 28-24 going into the locker room. In the second half, Preston Medlin and Butterfield made 3s on consecutive possessions to help Utah State tie it at 32. The Aggies scored baskets on three straight possessions and took a 42-40 lead with 12:55 left on consecutive 3-pointers from Medlin. Lyle Alzado Jersey
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. "If we could score a six in every game, obviously I would be pretty excited," Jones said. "Its a long week but a short week. Its a pretty short round robin from what were used to so you dont want to get behind the eight ball early. Kaluka Maiava Raiders Jersey
. You can watch coverage on TSN, TSN2 and CTV beginning today at 3pm et/Noon pt. The championships will feature approximately 250 of Canadas best figure skaters in senior, junior and novice as they vie for spots on the national team, international assignments and will act as the final step in the 2014 Olympic qualification process. Reggie Nelson Jersey
. Ireland was the last unbeaten side in the championship after France fell to Wales on Friday, and was favoured to end a three-match losing run to England with a side with more than twice as many caps, rampant momentum, and added incentive to celebrate Brian ODriscolls world record-tying 139th test cap.Watching the Montreal Canadiens lose goaltender Carey Price to injury this week reminded me of what I often think is the great weakness of North American sports. The reliance of individuals in team sports. Hockey is obsessed with goaltenders. A team loses and the first place people look at for blame is in between the pipes. Baseball? As they say, momentum is all about the next days starting pitcher. NFL? Find an elite quarterback if you want to win the Super Bowl and stop using Trent Dilfer as an example (unless you can find one of the greatest defences to go alongside him). Basketball? You wont find many NBA championship teams that doesnt feature a current or future hall of famer. The global game of soccer is often very different, as the achievements of Atletico Madrid this week have shown. A sport that is so reliant on teamwork rarely allows a figurehead to rise to such prominence to make a championship be about them. Sure, domestic leagues have outstanding players who take over games, weeks, even months of a campaign, but without their teammates they are just one man with a ball at their feet. Even the greatest players in the world today are surrounded by players close to their level that allows them to perform brilliantly so often. For some reason, however, every four years many forget the common sense around this belief and two words are the reason for it. World Cup. There have only been nineteen of these in history and, specifically for the last 16 of them, it has been considered as the ultimate thing in the sport to win. However, the World Cup is not without its failings. Many games produce predictable, sterile games dominated by defensive-minded teams, unable to replicate the teamwork earned by club teams over long periods of time, who, subsequently, know its far easier to stop than score. It is a tournament that lasts one month every four years. The best team plays seven games and does not even have to win them all. Yet, because it is so short in time and so infrequent on the games calendar, the World Cup cares little for reputations, instead choosing to make them. This allows the sport to be much more North American in terms of individuals stamping their authority on it. With this in mind, collectively, we owe it to future generations to be extremely careful with the evidence provided (and this is not always easy with the lack of video available to us once the tournament ends). First of all we must remember that players can have excellent tournaments without actually winning it. This rule is for all, not just for those you didnt expect to win it anyway. Take Lionel Messis 2010 World Cup. Many adjectives have been used to describe this including poor and disappointing. What nonsense. Messi was excellent in South Africa but because he didnt score a goal some thought he was disappointing. When his out-of-his-depth manager, Diego Maradona, decided to play without a central midfield, Argentina were sent home packing in the quarterfinals. They never had a chance of winning the World Cup and none of that fell on the shoulders of Messi. Since leaving South Africa, Messi, with Barcelona, has won everything there is to win in club football, and added three more Ballon DOr awards. He has consistently succeeded in the most competitive tournament, the Champions League, the sport has to offer. He is described by many as one of the greatest players to play the game but suddenly he is removed from such a camp, by some, the closer a World Cup gets to starting, when a new hurdle is put in his path to reach the pantheon of greatness; a hurdle he simply cannot jump himself.dddddddddddd Messis countryman, Ossie Ardiles, who won the World Cup in 1978, hit the headlines last week with this gem of a quote: "To be considered alongside the top, top guys like Pele and Diego Maradona and so on, Messi not only needs to be in the World Cup but to win it." Mr Ardiles isnt the only one who feels this way, of course, and in fact there is an alarming chance he is in the majority rather than the minority when it comes to this topic. What a pity. And while we are on this quote, who is so on exactly? When Pele played, the World Cup was everything. He changed the sport and is arguably the greatest player to play the game. The World Cup made him the global star that he simply couldnt reach himself at Santos. Maradona graced four World Cups and is forever remembered as the face of Mexico 1986. It is fitting for a man so talented that he had that event to catapult him towards the legends of the game but many who celebrate Maradonas greatness, because of those 30 days in Mexico, often, conveniently, forget his 1982 and 1994 World Cups ended in disgrace. 1990? Dont let their runner-up spot fool you. His team was even worse than Messis 2010 side and his performances werent even close to the ones shown by Barcelonas current star in South Africa. There is no disputing Maradonas greatness on the field but if the guardians of football history and, subsequently, the makers of reputations are going to base so much on what happens at World Cups then they need to be fair about it. In a sport that cares so often about who wins and loses this seems like an impossible task. Only one team can lift the trophy when it all finishes on July 11. Of course, Messi will be considered as one of the true greats if that team proves to be Argentina but why should we wait to find out what some of his flawed teammates can do for him before we give him such an honour? Just because Maradona, Pele and so on won the World Cup? The game is full of true, elite greats who never did. Pele and Maradona call Alfredo Di Stefano the most complete player ever and what of Johan Cruyff, who was magnificent in the 1974 World Cup and did everything but win the tournament? Rather than holding the World Cup to a higher standard that some cannot reach, those who lean on individual quality, should enjoy its beauty at producing other stars whose solo acts can carry their teams far. Garrincha, Eusebio, Cruyff, Paolo Rossi, Toto Schillaci, Roberto Baggio, Romario, Davor Sukur, Ronaldo, Oliver Kahn, Fabio Cannavaro, Diego Forlan and David Villa are just some examples of that. Some won, some didnt. Some are true greats, some arent. Their reputations were enhanced by their World Cup play but also because their team was able to get to the final week of the event. Neither Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo needs to win a World Cup to be graced amongst the greatest ever. It appears, before the tournament already starts, that Ronaldo doesnt have the team to get him to the trophy, and if the tournament proves the same for Argentina why should Messi be judged differently to Ronaldo? This special group, created by the likes of Ardiles, that features Maradona, Pele and so on is a hindrance to football history and an ignorance to the game itself. Wholesale NFL Jerseys cheap nfl jerseys
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