TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Kawhi Leonard had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and second-seeded San Diego State survived Devon Beitzel’s scoring burst to win its first NCAA tournament game, 68-50 over Northern Colorado on Thursday.
The Aztecs (33-2) had their hands full with the Bears of the Big Sky early, looking like that NCAA winless streak would hit seven games.
San Diego State pulled away behind its defense in the second half, holding Northern Colorado (21-11) scoreless for nearly 7 minutes to avoid the upset.
Billy White had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Aztecs, who will face Temple in the West regional Saturday.
Beitzel scored eight of his 25 points during a flurry to start the second half, but it wasn’t enough to keep the 15th-seeded Bears from going one-and-done in their first NCAA tournament.
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