Auburn shot just 34.3 percent from the field and that proved to be the difference in the game as the Tigers dropped to 9-4 while the Aztecs improved to 8-4. San Diego State hit 52.1 percent of its field goals.
Junior Jordan Greenleaf led the Tigers with 15 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
"I was really proud of how we fought," Auburn head coach Nell Fortner said. "We were playing to win this championship and just fell a little short. We worked our way back into the game, cut it to six and couldn't get over that hump. The effort was there, we have just had a little cold shooting the past couple games."
Auburn led much of the first half, but never had more than a four-point advantage. San Diego State pulled ahead 31-28 at halftime and took control by scoring 13 of the first 14 points of the second half.
The Tigers had a chance to win the game until late, trailing 60-53 with three minutes left, but didn't shoot the ball well enough down the stretch to make the comeback.
The Tigers were out-rebounded 39-34, but negated that with just nine turnovers while forcing 19 for the Aztecs.
Greenleaf and Carrier were named to the all-tournament team.
The Tigers return home to take on Mississippi State at 2 p.m. on Sunday in the SEC opener for both teams. "Mississippi State is very good team, I picked them to win the conference this year," Fortner said of the 9-4 Bulldogs.