Boise State Stuns #20 BYU 73-70

The Boise State basketball team collected a big win last night on the road back to legitimacy with a 73-70 win over #20 BYU in Taco Bell Arena.

Boise State rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit and held off a furious Cougar charge in the final minutes to stun #20 BYU 73-70 last night in Taco Bell Arena.  Reggie Larry poured in 19 points while Matt  Nelson connected on all seven field goal attempts and contributed 18 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Broncos.  Nelson also was responsible for holding highly regarded BYU center Trent Plaisted.  Plaisted was held to 12 points by Nelson, five under his season average.

Nelson's tip in of a Tyler Tiedeman miss with four minutes left gave Boise State a 66-62 lead, extended to six when Larry canned a 15-footer.  BYU almost staged an unlikely win in the final minutes trailing 70-62.  Burgess hit a three-pointer (one of only eight BYU treys in 27 tries) and, after a Bronco turnover, Lee Cummard hit a layup to cut the deficit to three with 1:57 left.  A Bronco miss gave the Cougars another chance as Cummard was fouled on the next possession and calmly hit both free throws to make it a nail-biter.

 A Boise State free throw pushed it to 71-69 and Plaisted was fouled with 19 seconds left but made only one of two.  The Broncos failed to close the door when Tiedeman missed the front end of a 1-and-1 three seconds later.  Plaisted missed an eight-footer, however, and Larry grabbed the rebound.  Once again, the Broncos could not put the game away as Larry made just one of two. With less than three seconds left, Cummard launched a desperation 25-footer that missed and the Broncos celebrated the upset.

Coach Greg Graham's team won for the eighth time in the last nine games, and the Broncos turned back a Top 25 team for the fourth time in program history.  ``I didn't know what to do after that game was over,'' said Larry, who was part of a wild celebration afterward at midcourt. ``We bounced back in the second half, got things flowing ... and said we can't let this one slip.''

The Broncos were on the short end of a 38-27 halftime score, thanks to a 15-1 Cougar run to finish the first stanza.  Graham's club came out of the locker room a determined squad and fought back, finally retaking the lead halfway through the second half.

Cummard led the Cougars with 26 points, while Sam Burgess and Jimmer Fredette added 11 points each.  BYU lost for the third time in 13 games, while Boise State upped their mark to 9-3.

Previous Bronco wins over Top 25 teams include a 60-52 win over Fresno State in 1982, a 53-43 decision over Gary Payton and Oregon State 1988, a 69-61 win over Washington 1998 and a 73-72 shocker of Nevada in the 2005 Western Athletic Conference Tournament.

Boise State opens the 2008 WAC schedule by hosting San Jose State Wednesday in Taco Bell Arena.


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