Boise State's Derrick Marks missed a jumper with less than a second left with a chance to knock off No. 13 San Diego State. But like it has in Boise State's other two meetings, the Aztecs came away with the close win, 69-66. All three meetings between Boise State and San Diego State at Viejas Arena have been decided by a combined six points, yet the Aztecs are 3-0 in those games.
Halftime: Boise State saw just how good San Diego State's defense was up and close Wednesday night in the first half. The Aztecs, who came into the game in the top four nationally in scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and 3-point percentage defense, led 34-26 at the break. In the first 20 minutes, the Broncos shot 37.5 percent from the field (9-of-24), making just 2-of-11 free throws. They turned it over 10 times, leading to 16 Aztec points. After they got within one at 9-8 with 14:47 to go in the first half, the Broncos did not score again for nearly eight minutes, during which the Aztecs went on a 17-0 run. No Boise State guard scored until Derrick Marks' free throws with 6:20 until halftime made it 26-12. Marks hit a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to get back within single digits, impressive after such a dreadful start. The Broncos had 12 of the last 16 points of the first half. Senior forward Ryan Watkins had nine points and seven rebounds at the half.
Pre-game notes: Boise State (11-3, 1-0) will hope to get the third top-15 win in school history Wednesday night at No. 13 San Diego State (12-1, 1-0). The Aztecs have hosted the Broncos once each of the past two seasons, and both times came down to the final shot. San Diego State won the two meetings by a combined three points here at Viejas Arena. The Broncos are 1-5 against the Aztecs since joining in the Mountain West in the 2011-12 season, the lone win coming March 9, 2013 in Boise, a 69-65 win.
Boise State is averaging 82.7 points per game, and will face perhaps the nation's toughest defense in the Aztecs, who allow 53.6 ppg. Opponents are shooting just 33.9 percent against San Diego State this season.