San Diego State couldn't shoot straight most of the night and turned ball over at the worst of times.
Then, a final burst of magnificent athleticism allowed the Aztecs to survive and play again.
Billy White had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard sealed San Diego State's exhausting, 71-64 double-overtime victory against Temple with a steal and a slam dunk in a third-round NCAA tournament thriller on Saturday.
"We were tired but we knew that we had to win this game," Aztecs point guard D.J. Gay said after playing all 50 minutes. "We just wanted it a little bit more. We just sucked it up."
White sank the go-ahead jumper and Leonard made two free throws as the second-seeded Aztecs (34-2) finally put away the pesky Owls (26-7).
Ramone Moore scored 17 for No. 7 seed Temple, which was coming off a 66-64 last-second victory over Penn State in the second round. San Diego State, never an NCAA tournament winner before this season, advanced to the West regional semifinals Thursday in Anaheim, Calif., against the Connecticut, which beat Big East foe Cincinnati.
Chase Tapley matched his career best with four three-pointers -- in five attempts -- but it was the soaring ability of coach Steve Fisher's team that finally made the difference.
"We're good. We know we're good," Fisher said, "but you have to have a bit of good fortune. And I said to them after the game, we probably had a little bit of that tonight."
San Diego State blocked six shots, four by Malcolm Thomas, none bigger than his rejection of Lavoy Allen's inside attempt in the final minute with the Aztecs clinging to a 67-64 lead. For Thomas, a hometown player with San Diego's skyline tattooed on his biceps, it was an atonement for a crucial turnover moments earlier.
"I made a lot of plays that could have cost us the game," he said.