SAN DIEGO -- After managing just seven points in regulation, guard Chase Tapley scored 12 points in overtime as 16th-ranked San Diego State avoided an upset and held off Colorado State 79-71 in a Mountain West Conference game on Saturday night before 12,414 at Viejas Arena.
Jamaal Franklin led the Aztecs, who blew an 18-point halftime lead, with 23 points, but it was Tapley who bailed them out. He finished with 19 points.
San Diego State (14-2, 2-0) won despite struggling offensively against the Rams (13-3, 0-1), who had their seven-game winning streak snapped.
Guard Wes Eikmeier finished with 22 points to lead Colorado State. Center Colton Iverson added 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Iverson's putback tied the score at 63 with 15 seconds remaining in regulation. Franklin's jumper near the end of regulation missed.
Colorado State opened the second half with a 17-4 spurt and wiped out an 18-point San Diego State halftime lead. The Rams closed to 45-40 before guard James Rahon sparked a San Diego State run and allowed the Aztecs to push the lead back to double digits.
San Diego State rode its 3-point shooting to a commanding 41-23 lead at the half. The first eight shots the Aztecs made were 3-pointers as they jumped to a 26-15 lead after a 3-pointer by Franklin with 8:09 left. They missed their first six shots inside the arc until forward JJ O'Brien converted a baseline jumper as part of a three-point play for a 31-21 advantage with 3:47 remaining.
San Diego State followed with a 10-2 run to end the half.
The Aztecs hit 13 of 27 shots from the field (48.1 percent) in the half. They were 10 of 18 on 3-pointers (55.6 percent).
Colorado State missed 25 of its 34 shots from the floor (26.5 percent) and managed just 2 of 10 3-pointers.
Rebounding allowed the Rams to stay within striking distance until the Aztecs bolted late in the half. Colorado State had a 21-19 rebounding edge, with 11 of those coming on the offensive end to only four for San Diego State. NOTES: This was the 71st meeting between the two schools. The Rams lead the series 36-34. ... San Diego State has won 12 of the last 13 against the Rams and 14 of 15 during the regular season ... Franklin entered the game as the only player in the country averaging 17 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, a block and a steal per game.