Teams don't usually win in Viejas, but then this Boise State team is all about achieving improbable wins in hostile environments. They won at Albuquerque, at Logan, at Las Vegas, and now at San Diego, ending the nation's fifth-longest home winning streak at 29.
The Aztecs threatened to take command in both halves, but both times, Boise State was not to be denied. San Diego State grabbed a 39-32 lead with 11:12 left, but intense defense forced the home team into numerous missed shots, and Boise State outscored the Aztecs 24-7 from that point forward.
Back-to-back threes from Rob Heyer and Montigo Alford and two free throws from Mikey Thompson put Boise State ahead 40-39 for the first time since they scored the opening basket of the game. James Webb III then stripped the ball away from Trey Kell and went all the way in for a layup to put the Broncos up 42-39 with 7:42 remaining.
J.J. O'Brien answered with a jumper for San Diego State, but Kevin Allen secured an offense rebound and his basket, plus a damaging three from Webb gave Boise State a 47-41 lead.
Coach Rice has slowly been building a deep and talented bench that will serve him very well come postseason. These guys don't get the attention that the stars do, but tonight, the Broncos won on their backs. Consider:
- Rob Heyer--six points, seven rebounds (many of them crucial ones), an assist and a steal.
- Mikey Thompson--six points, a perfect six-of-six free throws in the game's final frantic minutes, two assists, and two rebounds.
- Montigo Alford--five points, a steal, and impressive decision-making running the Bronco offense.
- Kevin Allen--two points, but it was a huge two points, getting a rebound and put-back to key a Bronco run that was the difference in the game.
- David Wacker--no points, but collected a rebound and played valuable minutes inside combatting the Aztec big men.
Webb shook off a slow start to finish with 16 points, and he controlled the boards in the game's final ten minutes. The Axtecs keyed on Derrick Marks, but he still led Boise State with 18 points, and with two steals, he moved into fourth place all-time for career steals. Marks also passed Steve Connor (1977-78) and L'Shard Anderson (2010-11) for eighth place for points in a season (see lists at bottom of article.) Marks also connected on five of seven free throws to move into sixth place with 145 free throws this season.
Just as they did in Boise, the Broncos' defense shut down San Diego State, allowing the Aztecs to hit just 32.7% of their shots (18-55), and dominated the boards, 38-26.
Boise State tied a school record with their 22nd regular season win, joining the 1987-88 Broncos, the 1988-89 team, and the 2007-08 Boise State team. The Broncos have won 12 of their last 13 games, a late season surge the NCAA Selection Committee has said they look at closely.
Boise State plays San Jose State in San Jose next Wednesday.
1. 215 Chris Childs (1985-1989)
2. 196 L'Shard Anderson (2008-2011)
3. 185 Doug Usitalo (1986-1988)
4. 180 Derrick Marks (2011-current)
5. 179 Gerry Washington (1995-1999)
5. 179 Anthony Thomas (2006-2010)
7. 151 Bruce Bolden (1981-1985)
8. 145 Mike Tolman (1992-1993/1995-1998)
9. 138 Roberto Bergersen (1996-1999)
10. 132 Rawn Hayes (1981-1984)
11. 129 Damon Archibald (1992-1995)
12. 125 Kejuan Woods (1998-2001)
13. 107 Lance Vaughn (1989-1993)
1. 661 Reggie Larry (2007-2008)
2. 644 Roberto Bergersen (1998-1999)
3. 636 Ron Austin (1970-1971)
4. 582 Roberto Bergersen (1997-1998)
5. 566 Tanoka Beard (1992-1993)
6. 565 Anthony Drmic (2012-2013)
7. 557 Abe Jackson (2001-2002)
8. 541 Derrick Marks (2014-15)
9. 530 Steve Connor (1977-1978)
10. 527 L'Shard Anderson (2010-2011)
10. 524 Tanoka Beard (1991-1992)
1. 194 Ron Austin (1970-1971)
2. 171 Greg Bunn (1971-1972)
3. 168 Tanoka Beard (1992-1993)
4. 166 Tanoka Beard (1991-1992)
5. 148 Tanoka Beard (1990-1991)
6. 145 Derrick Marks (2013-2014)
7. 144 Derrick Marks (2012-2013)
8. 142 L'Shard Anderson (2010-2011)
9. 136 Reggie Larry (2007-2008)
10. 130 Arnell Jones (1986-1987)
11. 129 Wilson Foster (1988-1989)
12. 127 Pat Hoke (1975-1976)
13. 125 Roberto Bergersen (1998-1999)
14. 119 Arnell Jones (1987-1988)