By The Sports Xchange

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.