Boise Idaho • They couldn’t rebound. They couldn’t stop the 3-pointers that kept raining over them.
And still, Utah State had a chance to win — a chance it watched sail away on an errant pass in the final seconds.
The Aggies (12-5, 2-3) lost a crushing 78-74 decision to Boise State on Saturday night at Taco Bell Arena, failing to score on their four possessions as the Broncos surged from behind. It was the third loss on the road in Mountain West conference play, arguably the hardest to swallow.
The Aggies went on a late run to tie up the game with just under six minutes to play, and from there the game was neck-and-neck. Preston Medlin and Spencer Butterfield extended the lead with 3-pointers, but Boise State guard Derrick Marks was unstoppable with 16 second-half points.
Utah State had a one-point lead in the final minute, but a play to Marcel Davis was foiled by a Marks block, and he scored on the other end with 23.6 seconds left. The Aggies would never reclaim the lead.
Jarred Shaw, the team’s leading scorer with 24 points, got a look that rattled out. Spencer Butterfield threw away a long inbounds pass, well over the head of his teammates. With two seconds left, all TeNale Roland could to was throw up an ultimately meaningless shot that bounced harmlessly off the backboard.
Utah State struggled throughout to stop the Broncos behind the 3-point line. Freshman forward Nick Duncan, averaging only 4.8 points per game entering the contest, put the biggest hurt on the Aggies’ perimeter with 17 points on 5-for-9 shooting from deep.
For a stretch, Shaw was Utah State’s best offensive answer. The senior had a run in which he scored 14 of 15 Aggie points, his long reach extending well over any of the Broncos.
The game nearly got away from Utah State early, as Boise racked up seven first-half 3-pointers and led by as much as 12. A late run, led by eight points in the last three minutes by Shaw, helped close the gap to three shortly before halftime.
In the Aggies’ return to the court after the break, Shaw picked up where he left off, giving Utah State a one-point lead early in the half before Boise State went on another spree, shooting three straight 3-pointers.
Boise St. 78, Utah St. 74
UTAH ST. (12-5)
M. Davis 1-6 0-0 2, Shaw 11-16 2-2 24, Medlin 6-8 0-2 16, Butterfield 2-7 4-4 10, K. Davis 3-7 3-4 9, Clifford 1-1 0-0 3, Berger 0-1 0-0 0, Moore 1-2 0-0 2, Roland 3-6 0-0 8, Stone 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-54 9-12 74.
BOISE ST. (13-5)
Marks 7-16 4-6 19, Drmic 2-6 5-5 10, Bropleh 1-2 0-0 3, Elorriaga 2-8 0-0 6, Watkins 6-11 3-6 15, Hadziomerovic 0-0 0-0 0, Duncan 5-11 2-2 17, Dukulis 1-1 0-0 2, Thompson 1-2 4-4 6. Totals 25-57 18-23 78.
Halftime—Boise St. 34-31. 3-Point Goals—Utah St. 9-18 (Medlin 4-5, Roland 2-4, Butterfield 2-5, Clifford 1-1, Moore 0-1, Berger 0-1, M. Davis 0-1), Boise St. 10-28 (Duncan 5-9, Elorriaga 2-8, Bropleh 1-1, Marks 1-4, Drmic 1-5, Watkins 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Utah St. 23 (K. Davis 8), Boise St. 35 (Watkins 16). Assists—Utah St. 19 (M. Davis 5), Boise St. 11 (Drmic 4). Total Fouls—Utah St. 20, Boise St. 17. A—7,969.