A cold-shooting and turnover prone second half nearly negated a strong defensive effort by the Boise State Broncos (5-2, 12-4) on Saturday.
In the end, the Broncos did just enough at the free throw line to hold off a late-charging San Jose State (2-5, 9-9) rally, defeating the Spartans 75-65.
San Jose State, down by double digits most of the second-half, got it down to six points on a Jaycee Hillsman layup with 1:42 left, but multiple free throws by James Reid and Chandler Hutchison put the game out of reach. An emphatic dunk by David Wacker helped seal the deal, the Broncos first field goal since a Reid jumper with 12:12 left in the game.
David Wacker puts an exclamation point on Boise State’s road win against San Jose State. pic.twitter.com/0EJt3uU9mL
— Boise State Men’s BB (@BroncoSportsMBB) January 22, 2017
Boise State never trailed as four players scored in double figures. Wacker had a career-high 17 points to lead the way, also contributing seven rebounds.
The Broncos raced to a 7-0 lead behind five points from Hutchison. Boise State hit their first four shots and maintained a four to eight point lead in the early going.
Freshman Alex Hobbs saw significant playing time in the first-half, hitting his first career three to put the Broncos up 25-17. Brandon Clarke of the Spartans did his best to keep things close, scoring 16 of San Jose State’s first 19 points.
Hutchison picked up his second foul with 8:27 left in the half and the Broncos up 27-19. A combination of Paris Austin, Hobbs and Wacker pushed the lead to 43-30 at halftime.
The Broncos shot 59.3% in the first half and were led by Wacker’s ten points. Hobbs had seven in the half.
Clarke finished the half with 18 for San Jose State.
The second-half started out much the same for Boise State as the Broncos his their first three shots. A Hutchison free throw put the Broncos up 50-36 with 17:20 left in the game.
Boise committed ten turnovers in the second-half. After hitting their first three shots, the Broncos only shot 3-14 (21.4%) the rest of the game.
Free throws did the trick as the Broncos hit 20-28 (71.4%) in the second-half and 74% for the game.
Hutchison added 15 points and a team-leading eight rebounds for the Broncos. Austin added 11 (with six turnovers) and Reid continued to play well of the bench with ten.
Clarke led all scorers with 26 points. Hillsman had 14, all in the second-half.
Boise State returns to Taco Bell Arena next Wednesday where they will host the Nevada Wolf Pack. Tip off is slated for 8 pm (MDT)