Feb. 02, 2016
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BOISE, Idaho The Boise State men's basketball team led for only 91 seconds Tuesday, but that was all they needed.
Senior Lonnie Jackson drilled a three-pointer with 1:31 to play, giving Boise State a 68-67 lead in an eventual 70-67 victory against Utah State at Taco Bell Arena. Jackson was 0-for-6 from beyond the arc before hitting the go-ahead shot.
The Aggies were held scoreless in the final 2 minutes and 49 seconds of the game and had two shot clock violations in the final five minutes.
Boise State (16-7, 7-3 MW) trailed by as many as 13 points on multiple occasions. It is the largest deficit the team has overcome this season, and their largest comeback since they rebounded from being down by 15 against Montana on Nov. 18, 2014, for a double-overtime victory.
The win stopped a two-game skid for the Broncos.
"It's conference play in February. You're not going to be able to script these things," Boise State head coach Leon Rice said. "You just got to find a way to get the next one and keep doing that. We're trying to find ourselves."
An arid offense contributed to a forgettable first half for the Broncos and a 10-point deficit at intermission. Boise State shot 34.4-percent from the field, including 3-of-15 from beyond the arc. Utah State's 55.6 percent shooting and five three-pointers in the first half gave them a 38-28 lead.
"I remember saying we have to play defense," senior Anthony Drmic said. "Every single we run we made, we played good defense. Every run they had, we played really, really bad defense. So that's the key right now moving forward for the rest of the season."
Utah State (11-10, 3-7 MW) knocked down a triple to start the second half and re-establish its largest lead of the day at 13. Boise State then appeared to shed their first half woes, going on a 16-3 run that tied the score at 44 apiece with 13:35 left in the game.
Another three from Utah State's Chris Evans started an 11-0 run. Evans finished with a game-high 20 points.
The Bronco deficit was still 11 with 10 minutes to go when James Webb III took over on both sides of the ball.
Webb scored 17 of his team-leading 19 points in the second half, including 13 in the final 10 minutes. He also had six rebounds and three steals in the second period.
Boise State outscored Utah State 23-9 in the final 10 minutes, with 19 points coming from Webb and Mikey Thompson.
"It's a big win for us," Webb III said. "It's big motivation for us, as well. The last two games we haven't been ourselves. I think this game we started out like that, but it was a turnaround. You can feel it on the bench. Guys just wanted to win."
Utah State shot 50 percent from the field in the game, but the Broncos held the Aggies to 3-for-11 in the final 10 minutes in addition to forcing five turnovers.
Boise State out-rebounded Utah State 39-22, including a 17-3 advantage in offensive rebounds. The Broncos outscored the Aggies 18-0 in second-chance points, helping offset Utah State's 12-for-22 three-point shooting performance.
Seniors Thompson and Drmic joined Webb III in double-digit scoring with 16 and 12 points, respectively. Both added six rebounds. Drmic was held scoreless in Boise State's previous contest against the Aggies on Jan. 5.
Boise State returns to action Saturday against Air Force. Tip-off is scheduled for noon M.T. from Clune Arena. The game will be televised by ROOT Sports. The Falcons are coming off a 70-62 win over Wyoming.
Boise State was 2-0 against Air Force last season, including a 77-68 win in Colorado Springs, Colo.