Boise State Downs Idaho 69-63

In a back-and-forth game fitting of its billing, Boise State put down Idaho 69-63 in Taco Bell Arena last night. With the win, the Broncos increased their chances of finishing in the upper half of the WAC.

Boise State pulled out an important 69-63 win over Idaho last night in Taco Bell Arena in front of the largest home crowd (12,193) since the days of Coach Bobby Dye.

The game was a see-saw contest for the entire way. Idaho came into the game riding high after a win over #21 Utah State but they could not slay Boise State. Idaho held a five-point lead with 7:09 to play, but Coach Leon Rice's Broncos reeled off 13 points in a row and seemed to be playing with a newfound confidence. Idaho stayed close, however, and grabbed a 62-61 lead with 1:44 to play. Boise State parlayed an 8-8 free-throw performance in the final 90 seconds into a victory. Boise State is now 28-31 from the charity stripe in the last two games.

Paul Noonan, who would be Boise State's all-time free-throw shooter if not for failing to have enough free throws, sank four in the final 32 seconds and Thomas Bropleh added two 11 seconds later. Bropleh lifted the Broncos to a lead in the second half with a deep three-pointer and hit another to again give Boise State the lead with 6:26 remaining.

Boise State shots weren't falling (41.2%) but won the game by taking better care of the ball. The Broncos committed just 10 turnovers compared to 19 for the mistake-prone Vandals.

Robert Arnold led Boise State with 16 points and La'Shard Anderson contributed 13 towards the victory. Noonan added 10 points, leaving him just four points shy of 1,000 for his Bronco career.

The Broncos advanced to 7-6 in the Western Athletic Conference and 14-11 overall with the victory while Idaho now possesses the exact same marks. However, since Boise State earned a season sweep, the Broncos would own the tiebreaker should the two teams remain knotted in the conference race.

Jeff Ledbetter hit 6-8 from three-point territory to pace Idaho with 19 points and Landon Tatum added 13.

With seven seniors, an inspiring coach like Rice and added confidence and momentum, a Bronco team that can continue winning would be a scary opponent for anyone in the upcoming conference tournament. After the Bracket-Buster game at UC-Santa Barbara, Boise State faces rivals Fresno State and Nevada before returning home to host Cal State Bakersfield and San Jose State to close out the regular season.

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