Utah State basketball: Aggies can't convert down the stretch, fall on the road to Boise State, 78-74
Otto Kitsinger, AP
BOISE, Idaho — Derrick Marks scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half and scored the decisive basket with 23.6 seconds left as Boise State recorded a 78-74 victory over Utah State Saturday night.
Nick Duncan scored a career-high 17 points and made five 3-pointers and Ryan Watkins added 15 points and 16 rebounds for the Broncos (13-5, 3-2 Mountain West).
Marks blocked a breakaway layup attempt by Marcel Davis with 37 seconds left and came back down the court to hit the basket that gave Boise State a 75-74 lead.
Jarred Shaw matched a season-high with 24 points for the Aggies (12-5, 2-3) but missed with under five seconds left. Preston Medlin added 16 points.
The Aggies led 71-66 after Shaw's basket with 2:56 to play but Marks made four baskets down the stretch. Anthony Drmic added two free throws and Marks made one in the final 3.6 seconds.
Prior to Marks' late-game heroics, Utah State was in position to notch an impressive road victory. The Aggies trailed by 12 points in the first half and were still behind by nine with eight minutes remaining before using a 21-7 surge to take a 71-66 lead.
Medlin made all four of his 3-pointers during the final eight minutes. He hit two in a 33-second span as the Aggies took a 69-66 lead with under four minutes to play before Shaw's basket made it a five-point margin.
Marks responded with back-to-back baskets to pull Boise State within 71-70 and Medlin answered by draining his final 3-pointer to give the Aggies a four-point lead with 1:20 remaining. Watkins hit one of two free throws and Marks scored a driving basket to cut Utah State's edge to one with 39.2 seconds left.
The Aggies called timeout under the Boise State basket and sent Davis deep down court where he corralled the ball and attempted a layup. Marks gave chase and blocked the shot, meandered back up court and dribbled into the lane and his driving shot rolled around the rim before dropping in to put the Broncos ahead.
Duncan, a freshman from Australia, provided Boise State with a big first-half boost, making three first-half 3-pointers as the Broncos led by as many as 12 points.
Utah State finished the half with nine straight points, including eight by Shaw, to pull within 34-31 at the break. Shaw continued his run with six straight Utah State points to start the second half and the Aggies briefly held a one-point advantage.
Duncan hit two 3-pointers and Marks made one as the Broncos scored nine straight for a 50-39 lead. The advantage was 59-50 after a basket by Watkins with 8:20 to go.
Utah State fought back to tie the contest at 61 with 5:34 to play on back-to-back 3-pointers by Ben Clifford and TeNale Roland.
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