One of the most mind-boggling stats in college basketball came to a stunning halt Saturday at Viejas Arena.
The San Diego State Aztecs had won 164 straight games when leading with 5 minutes to play, and they held a 58-54 edge over Boise State when the game hit that magic moment.
But the Broncos wouldn’t let it get to 165.
Missing their final seven free-throw attempts, the Aztecs choked, and the Broncos took advantage, finishing on a 12-0 run for the 66-63 win.
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Junior forward Nick Duncan’s 3-pointer with 22.2 seconds left gave Boise State the 64-63 lead, and senior guard/forward Anthony Drmic hit a pair of free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to salt the game away.
Boise State was without junior forward James Webb III, but had players like Duncan (12 points, 10 rebounds), sophomore guard Chandler Hutchison (16 points) and freshman guard Paris Austin (11 points) step up.
Halftime: In the first 20 minutes Saturday, Boise State did just what it needed to do against the San Diego State Aztecs, turning it into a 30-28 halftime lead.
The Broncos led 30-22 before the Aztecs closed the half on a 6-0 run. They were able to build the lead thanks to some tough defense and an up-tempo approach offensively. San Diego State did not have a point for a 6:04 span until Zylan Cheatham hit a pair of free throws with 1:02 remaining in the half, while Boise State shot 50 percent (12-of-24) in the first half. Both teams had 12 turnovers apiece.
Sophomore guard Chandler Hutchison had eight points to pace the Broncos in the first half, helping fill the void left by junior forward James Webb III, who did not play with a knee injury.
Pregame: The Boise State men’s basketball team faces the regular-season champion San Diego State Aztecs on the road Saturday, and likely will be without junior forward James Webb III, who injured his knee Tuesday.
Webb took part in warmups at Viejas Arena, and was dressed for the game, but a team spokesman said he is doubtful. Webb warmed up separate from the rest of the team, and did not wear his customary shooting sleeve.
The Broncos (18-10, 9-6 MW) won at San Diego State (21-7, 14-1) in their last visit, on Feb. 28, 2015. In that game, the Broncos outrebounded the Aztecs 42-30. But the Aztecs outrebounded the Broncos by the same margin in their 3-point win in Boise in January.
Boise State senior guard/forward Anthony Drmic is 58 points away from break Tanoka Beard’s school record of 1,944 career points. Beard, who has held the record for 23 years, is hoping the Aussie can do it.