The Boise State Broncos started Thursday’s night’s game with a decent hand.
Too bad everything the San Diego State Aztecs did during the game came up aces.
The Aztecs used an aggressive inside game on both ends of the floor along with their best performance of the year to defeat Boise State 87-68 in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West tournament.
Coupled with a foul-strapped star, missed layups and five-foot jumpers, and slippery hands, there wasn’t a whole lot the Broncos could muster in the loss.
San Diego State shot 54.7%, including 64.3% (9-14) from three-point range. Max Hoetzel, who hit five of six from beyond the arc in the first match up, repeated the feat and finished with 21 points.
The Broncos had trouble on the glass as well, allowing 13 offensive rebounds as they were outrebounded 37-23. The Aztecs also had nine blocked shots.
The Aztecs started off hitting four of their first five shots in racing out to a 9-3 lead. Nick Duncan’s second three of the game brought the score to 9-8, but San Diego State responded with a 6-0 run thanks to two Boise State turnovers.
A three by Alex Hobbs gave the Broncos their first lead at 20-19, but Hoetzel turned right around with a three of his own putting the Aztecs back up by two.
San Diego State then went cold, hitting only one field goal for nearly a six-minute span. Reid caught fire at the right time, connecting on two 3’s to put Boise State up 35-29.
Rise and Fire! James Reid comes off the screen and drills another three ball! Broncos by six. pic.twitter.com/EdAdb5Z6xG
— Boise State Men’s BB (@BroncoSportsMBB) March 10, 2017
Then, with David Wacker, Zach Haney, and Chandler Hutchison all on the bench with two fouls for the final three minutes, the Aztecs went on a run. The Broncos managed only one basket as San Diego State ended the half on a 13-2 run.
Hobbs had seven at the half as the Broncos trailed 42-37. Malik Pope had 11 points and 7 rebounds for the Aztecs.
Boise State was able to close the gap to 44-41, but Hutchison picked up his third foul just two minutes into the half and the Broncos were never able to get closer than that.
A nearly five-minute scoring drought saw the Aztecs extend their lead to ten. Missed shots and frustration mounted as the San Diego State lead at one point swelled to 23.
Duncan, in what could be his last game, had another solid Mountain West tournament game. He finished with 15 points as he went 5-8 from beyond the arc.
Sophomore Paris Austin also had 15 with Hobbs adding 12 and Reid finishing with 10.
Hutchison only finished with 8 points on 4-13 shooting.
Pope finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Aztecs.
With the loss, Boise State remained winless in three tries in the Mountain West tournament against the Aztecs.
San Diego State will meet Colorado State in the semifinals tomorrow night. Nevada plays Fresno State in the other game.