Historic senior class leaves Mesa with a trophy

by Edward Lewis

2,800 fans rushed the court after San Diego State clinched a share of the MWC regular season title with its win on Saturday, Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor
2,800 fans rushed the court after San Diego State clinched a share of the MWC regular season title with its win on Saturday, Antonio Zaragoza / Photo Editor

San Diego State senior forward Billy White brought the Mountain West Conference championship trophy to the postgame press conference, set it down right next to his microphone, patted it a few times and smiled.

The men’s basketball team has won championships before. It won a MWC Tournament crown last season and won a regular season title back in 2006.

But this one was special for White. It was the cherry on top of the Aztecs’ best regular season in school history.

Take a look at some of the news and notes from Saturday night’s epic championship game.

Sending the seniors out on top

It’s a stat that somehow got lost in all the confetti, the ear-pounding music, the thousands of students dancing on the court, the dozens of photographers snapping photos and the scissors cutting through the Viejas Arena nets:

100.

That’s how many games this senior class has won in its time at SDSU.

Senior guard D.J. Gay and White came to Montezuma Mesa back in 2007. In their four seasons at SDSU, they’ve compiled 20, 26, 25 and now 29 wins. The other seniors, Malcom Thomas, Brian Carlwell and Mehdi Cheriet, joined the Gay and White duo later in their careers and helped lift the Aztecs to their second regular season title in 33 seasons on Saturday night.

Before the game, the seniors were honored with framed jerseys and flowers. After the game, they were dancing on the scorers’ table, holding their trophy high.

“Just bringing this home and having this win in our building is just amazing,” White said.

Court storm

White once saw a Viejas Arena court storm back in his sophomore year. The court was called Cox Arena back then and the win wasn’t nearly as significant: A 70-66 victory against St. Mary’s that sent SDSU to the NIT Final Four.

Saturday night, however, White experienced his second-ever Viejas Arena court storm, and he loved it.

“I saw people start to come down from the student section, so I kind of figured they were going to rush the court,” White said. “It was just a great feeling just to have those people rush the court again for the last time I’m playing on that court – It’s just an amazing feeling; I’m glad to be here.”

Colorado State head coach Tim Miles was even a little envious of the court storm.

“I mean the conference championship is pretty cool stuff,” Miles said. “Coach Fisher and his staff have done a phenomenal job. They had confetti ready to roll and everything. Maybe someday we can get that going in Fort Collins.”

Short shots

SDSU is tied with Kansas for the national lead in wins (29). … The Aztecs won their school-record ninth straight game against Colorado State. … Sophomore forward Kawhi Leonard recorded his 38th career double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds).