San Diego State blew a 26 point lead at home on the second day of the new year to Colorado State lost. The Aztecs blew its 17 point lead they had in the second half tonight against the Boise State Broncos, but this time they managed to overcome its squandered lead and persevere in overtime.
In a battle of the best offense in the Mountain West, Boise State (77.8 PPG), and the best defense, San Diego State (59.8), defense won out as the Aztecs defeated the Broncos 78-66 in a crucial game for the conference regular season championship and seeding for the conference tournament.
San Diego State jumped out to an 17-4 lead midway through the first half. The Aztec defense pressured Boise State, who averaged 11 turnovers a game, to commit 12 first half turnovers, leading to 16 San Diego State points.
The Broncos could not find a rhythm offensively as they only shot 24% from the field 17.6% from three-point range. Only three Broncos players, of the eight who played, scored as they trailed the Aztecs 29-17 going into halftime.
It looked like early in the second half San Diego State was going to put the game away as they pushed its lead up to 17 early in the second half, but Boise State did not go away quietly.
The Broncos mounted a 14-0 run midway through the second half to cut San Diego State’s lead to one, 52-51 with over seven minutes remaining.
Both teams went back and forth the next few minutes, as Boise State cut it to a one-point game two more times. Then, with under two minutes remaining, Derrick Alston knocked down a step-back three-pointer with under two minutes remaining to tie the game at 58-58.
Matt Mitchell scored San Diego State’s next five points as they took a 63-60 lead with under 30 seconds remaining.
Boise State got the ball back with 27 seconds left down three and RayJ Dennis hit a three-pointer to send the game to overtime at 63-63.
After losing its 17-point advantage, San Diego State did not fold and dominated, outsourcing Boise State 15-3, the overtime period to secure the victory.
Matt Mitchell led the way for San Diego State with 24 points and eight rebounds. Trey Pulliam added 18 for the Aztecs.
Alston single-handedly carried the Broncos as they made a furious second half comeback, 22 of his 29 total points came in the second half. Alston was the only Bronco player to score more than 10 points.
San Diego State’s winning streak is now at nine games and they have not trailed in the second half of each of those nine games. The Aztecs pick up a crucial win as they are still fighting for the Mountain West regular season title.
Despite being ranked 22nd in the country, San Diego State entered the game trailing Boise State by three games in the win column for first place. Now at 12-3 in the Mountain West standings, the Aztecs still have a chance to get the one seed if they win out and if Boise State loses out, as both teams have two games left in the regular season.
San Diego State will be awarded two wins in the final regular season standings, and for conference seeding purposes only, after its series between New Mexico that was declared a forfeit by the conference due to the circumstances involved.
With the loss, Boise State falls to 18-5 overall and 14-4 in conference play. This loss does not hurt the Broncos’ chances for an at-large bid, but a win would have been monumental for Boise State to feel comfortable entering the Mountain West tournament.
Saturday’s game between these two teams should be another great one and hopefully it is a preview of what we will see in the conference tournament. Game two of this series will take place Saturday at 1 p.m. PT on CBS Sports Network.