SDSU Fends Off Boise State at Viejas
Feb. 28, 2018

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Boise State (22-7, 12-5) led for the majority of the first half, but the Aztecs (18-10, 10-7) eventually grabbed the halftime lead and did enough to hold off the Broncos throughout the second half, claiming the 72-64 win.

Redshirt freshman Jalen McDaniels had 15 points and 10 rebounds and Malik Pope scored 12 for SDSU, which played smothering defense late in the first half and again in the second half to take control. The Aztecs, who came in tied for fifth with Wyoming, are facing the Mountain West's top two teams in the final week as they try to improve their seed for the conference tournament. SDSU hosts first-place and No. 21 Nevada on Saturday night.

The Aztecs held Chandler Hutchison to 18 points after he scorched them for a school-record 44 points earlier this season.

The senior still put forth a well-rounded effort for the Blue and Orange, adding nine rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes of play.

After BSU pulled to 66-62 on Lexus Williams' 3-pointer with two minutes to go, Trey Kell fed Pope for a dunk that pushed the lead to six with 1:20 to go. Hutchison made one of two free throws.

After McDaniels missed a 3-pointer, Pope swooped in for the rebound, Matt Mitchell was fouled and made both free throws to give SDSU a seven-point lead.

Devin Watson scored 13 for SDSU and Mitchell had 11.

Justinian Jessup had 11 points and Zach Haney had 11 rebounds for Boise State, which is assured of being the No. 2 tournament seed.

Now with 82 threes on the season, Jessup has the Boise State sophomore single-season school record. The 82 triples also puts him alone in fifth place in the single-season school all-time list. He trails Abe Jackson's school record of 92 by just 10.

SDSU's defense, particularly on Hutchison, was the difference between this game and the Broncos' 83-80 victory in Boise in January.

''Every time he got the ball there was five sets of eyes on him, and that makes it tough,'' BSU coach Leon Rice said. ''And five sets of good, athletic eyes. That opened some things up for us in the first half to make some 3s, and we didn't make them in the second half.''

McDaniels was whistled for a flagrant foul when he tripped Chris Sengfelder with 4 1/2 minutes to go, negating a breakaway layup by Mitchell. Sengfelder made one of two free throws to pull the Broncos to 63-56.On the ensuing possession, Hutchison was fouled and made 1 of 2 free throws.

BSU led 43-42 on Hutchison's basket three minutes into the second half before SDSU tightened up on defense and went ahead.

SDSU led 38-37 at halftime.

Boise State will play its final regular season game this Saturday, March 3 at Taco Bell Arena against Wyoming. Tip will be at 5 p.m. and the team will honor its three seniors prior to the game - Chandler Hutchison, Chris Sengfelder and Lexus Williams.

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