Fresno State just needed to hold on for another 4 seconds. They had an improbable 3pt lead over the undefeated Boise State Broncos hoping to defend one last inbounds pass to complete the upset. Unfortunately, a split second lapse in the defense was all that Marcus Shaver Jr. needed to hit a 3 pointer and send the game into bonus basketball. They would start OT with an 8-0 run, and were able to hold off the Bulldogs to win the season series and drop Fresno down to 5th place in the conference. Let’s see how we got here, as another potential win slipped through the fingers of Fresno State.
Boise started the game quickly, jumping to a 5-0 lead in the first two minutes before Orlando Robinson would tie it up at 5. Boise would go into an almost 5 minute scoring drought as Fresno moved into the lead 12-8 before the Broncos got right back into it with a 3 point shot from Naje Smith. Things remained tight through the first half, although Boise would at one stage have a 6pt lead that shrank to 4 at the break. The second half of the game was a much more back-and-forth affair before the Dogs surged into the lead in the last minute of the second half. Leo Colimerio put up a layup with 30 seconds left to go ahead by 3, and it appeared to be the win. Then Shaver put up his shot.
In the bonus period, things didn't go well for Fresno State. Boise started the period on a quick run that also involved Bulldog star Orlando Robinson fouling out on a charge call. While normally, that would have been the end of things, the Dogs rallied without their star to tie the game back up with 90 seconds left. Abu Kigab made his two free throws, and that just about sealed the deal. Isiah Hill made a layup with 12 seconds left to bring the game within 3, but the ensuing foul on Boise led to Tyson Degenhart making both shots to bring us to the final margin.
Looking back on the game, Orlando Robinson was his normal star self. He put up 21 points on 9/15 shooting before fouling out. Both Colimerio and Jordan Campbell had 11 points on the night, with Anthony Holland and Isiah Hill both landing on 8 points. If there is one worry, it’s the lack of bench production. Deon Stroud was the only bench player to score, and that was only 4 points. Donovan Yap went 0-4, including what could have been a tying shot in overtime. The starters shot 50% from the floor, but the bench only hit on 18% of their shots. Moving forward, and especially if someone like Robinson lands in foul trouble again, the bench will have to contribute more than 4PPG.
Next up, Fresno State will travel to San Jose to take on the Spartans Tuesday night at 8:00PM, in a game that will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network. Boise will try to stretch their winning streak to 15 straight as they travel to Laramie in a 1v2 game on Thursday night.