BOISE-- As has been the case over the last couple of weeks, the Boise State men’s basketball team went down to the wire on Saturday night against Utah State, with the Broncos rallying for a thrilling 78-74 victory in front of nearly eight thousand people.
In a contest that went back and forth all night long, the Broncos took a ten-point lead in the second half, but saw that slip away. The Aggies clawed their way back into the game, and took a late four-point lead when Preston Medlin hit a three-pointer with a minute to go.
But Boise State mounted a rally led by junior guard Derrick Marks. Boise State cut the lead to three on a Ryan Watkins free throw, and then forced a turnover. Marks cut the lead to one on an athletic, hanging jumper with 40 seconds left on the clock.
Following the basket, the Broncos attempted a full-court trap to get the ball back, but Utah State broke the trap and looked to have an easy lay-in. The Aggies got the ball up-court to Marcel Davis without a defender in front of him. But a hustling Marks came from behind and blocked the layup attempt, giving the Broncos the ball as the clock ticked down. Marks dribbled the ball up the floor, drove to the right side, spun and hit a contested jump-shot with 24 seconds to play to put Boise State ahead by one point.
The Aggies held for a last shot, but solid defense by Watkins caused a miss, and Boise State was able to put the game away with a few made free throws.
Marks led the Broncos in scoring with 19 points, while Watkins added 15 points and 16 rebounds. Freshman Nick Duncan scored a career-high 17 points in the win.
Boise State (13-5, 3-2) will now go on the road to take on New Mexico (13-4, 4-1) on Tuesday.