The Boise State Broncos started the second half on an 11-2 run that provided more than enough space for the top seeded Broncos to come away with the 80-68 victory over the Air Force Falcons in the quarterfinal round of the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas Thursday afternoon. The Broncos advance to play the fourth seed Wyoming who defeated Utah State 67-65.
The Broncos (25-7 overall) used the long ball to keep Air Force at arms length the entire day. Air Force has struggled guarding the three-point line all season, and no team has used that weapon against the Falcons more than Boise State. The Broncos were 12 of 28 on the day from deep, and were paced by sharpshooting forward Nick Duncan. Duncan tortured the Falcons this season, combining for 51 points and 15 of 28 shooting from the three-point line. Duncan saved his best for today as he scored 23 points (7 of 15 from deep) on the day leading the offense for Boise State until senior guard Derrick Marks was able to get his game on track. Marks would finish the game with 13 points and would really seal the deal late for the Broncos hitting big shots and free throws anytime the Falcons tried to get themselves back in the game. Robert Heyer and Igor Hadziomerovic also scored in double digits for Boise State with 11 points each.
Air Force, whose record in Mountain West Conference Tournament quarterfinal games falls to 0-14 all-time, finishes their season with a record of 14-17. Four starters paced the Falcons in scoring with senior Marek Olesinski leading the way with 14 points. Two sophomores scored 13 each in Zach Kocur and Hayden Graham, with freshman Trevor Lyons scoring 10 in the defeat. The Falcons will say goodbye to seniors Olesinski, Max Yon (2 points), DeLovell Earls (6 points) and Justin Hammonds (5 points) after today's loss.
Boise State's semi final game will tip off at 7:00 p.m. MDT in Las Vegas. The game can be seen on CBS Sports Network. According to several bracketologist, Boise State is still considered to be a bubble team, but a victory tomorrow over Wyoming should stop that nonsense.