FORT COLLINS -- If you had told CSU head coach Larry Eustachy that his team would hold the duo of Chandler Hutchison and Nick Duncan to a combined 14 points, he'd likely have thought his team won. But while the Rams shut down two of Boise State's top three scorers, they forgot about guards Paris Austin and James Reid.
The pair lit up CSU's defense, combining for 43 points as the Broncos held off a pair of big rallies by the Rams to sneak out of Fort Collins with a 79-76 win and sole possession of second place in the league at 7-3. Reid, a 6-foot-3 senior from Bend, Oregon, knocked down six 3-pointers on nine shots while Austin did most of his work inside the arc, shooting 7 for 10 from the field and 10 of 10 from the free throw line for a game-high 25 points.
Their breakout performances spoiled a hot shooting night from behind the arc for CSU and a reawakening of sorts for sophomore guard Jeremiah Paige, who scored 20 points, pulled down five rebounds and also dished out five assists.
Early on, it looked as though the Broncos would run away with this one as they jumped out to a 23-10 lead at the midway point in the first half. Boise State extended its lead to as many as 19 with 5:25 to go in the half, but led by Paige, Gian Clavell and Prentiss Nixon, CSU clawed its way back to within three when Paige hit a corner 3-pointer right as the halftime buzzer sounded. His shot capped off an 8-for-12 first-half performance from behind the arc by the Rams, who came into the game ranked 209th in the country in 3-point shooting percentage.
Boise State would never let the Rams take the lead in the second half though, holding them at an arm's distance at all times. CSU was able to cut the deficit to two on a 3-pointer by Nixon with 11:38 to go, but the Broncos used a quick 5-0 run to extend the lead back to seven. The Rams would make one final run, cutting the deficit to one point with 32 seconds to go, but Austin knocked down six consecutive free throws to give the Broncos their third win in the last four games.
Emmanuel Omogbo notched another double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Gian Clavell pitched in 15 points and Prentiss Nixon added 13 points and four assists.
InsideTheRams.com Digital Editor Keegan Pope can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.