Life on the road isn’t so bad if you’re the Boise State basketball team.
After a 15-point win at Wyoming on Saturday, the Broncos pulled out a 79-76 win at Colorado State on Tuesday night at the Moby Center.
The Broncos (14-7, 7-3), now in second place in the Mountain West, have five conference road wins this season, which is tied for the second-most for the Broncos in a single conference season.
Boise State saw its 19-point, first-half lead dwindle to three by halftime, and its 10-point, second-half lead cut to a point with a minute remaining. Sophomore Paris Austin and his teammates remained resilient, hitting big shots down the stretch against the Rams (14-9, 6-4).
It is the seventh straight matchup between the teams decided by seven points or less. Boise State beat Colorado State 74-73 on Dec. 31 in Boise.
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“A great win for us. I don’t think that anyone thought, except the group we brought with us, that we’d win on the road at Wyoming and win at Colorado State,” coach Leon Rice said. “I’ll tell you, we’re a gritty, tough team, because that’s what we beat tonight.”
Austin, who came off the bench, hit six free throws in the final 30 seconds and led the Broncos with a career-high 25 points. Redshirt senior James Reid was 6-for-9 from behind the 3-point line and scored 18.
“I love big games,” said Reid, who started his second straight game. “Our team needed someone to step up, and I was comfortable with the looks I got.”
Tuesday’s game was reminiscent of last week’s game against Nevada, though for the opposite reasons. Against the Wolf Pack, Boise State closed a huge gap, but Nevada hit huge shots down the stretch. This time, BSU flipped the script and had answers every time.
Austin made all 10 of his free throw attempts and was 7-of-10 from the field, mixing in a confident-looking jump shot with his ability to get to the rim.
“We knew that we wanted this game really bad,” Austin said. “The coaches just wanted me to go out there and play strong, play aggressive and play free. And that’s exactly what I did.”
Boise State got off to a great start, holding Colorado State to 2-of-12 from the field while riding the hot shooting of Reid. The Rams caught fire from behind the 3-point line and made it a three-point game at halftime. Colorado State made 13 field goals in the first half, including eight 3’s.
“We did everything we wanted to do, except they threw in. They made three of them from 25 feet,” Rice said. “They have good players that can do that.”
After another flurry of 3s late in the second from Emmanuel Omogbo, Colorado State found itself down three with 20 seconds remaining. Prentiss Nixon committed a turnover and foul, which sent Austin to the line and ended the Rams’ hopes of a comeback.
The Broncos lost three of four games before the road trip.
“(This was) huge. We took one on the chin with Nevada at home,” Reid said. “We rebounded very well these last two games. And it’s just great momentum moving forward.”
Boise State hosts last-place Utah State (9-11, 3-6) at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN3.
BSU MEN’S NOTES
The Broncos have won six of their last seven road games, including a 5-1 mark in Mountain West play. ... Boise State’s bench scored a season-high 42 points, the seventh time this year the bench has scored 30 or more. ... Junior Chandler Hutchison scored 10 points and has reached double-figures 20 times this season.
BSU WOMEN HOST FIRST-PLACE COLORADO STATE
The Broncos (15-5, 5-4) host Mountain West leader Colorado State (16-5, 8-1) on Wednesday at Taco Bell Arena. Tipoff is 7 p.m. (1350 AM, BroncoSports .com and the Mountain West Network).
Wednesday is Girls and Women in Sports Day. All girls and women can purchase tickets for $3 at the door.
Boise State is tied for fourth in the Mountain West with UNLV. Colorado State has won seven straight games in a row since losing at home to the Broncos on New Year’s Eve.
The Rams are paced by Ellen Nystrom, who leads the team with 16 points and 8 rebounds per game. Brooke Pahuoka leads the Broncos in scoring at 13.8 points per game.
Boise State 79, Colorado State 76
BOISE ST. (14-7): Duncan 1-4 1-2 4, Wacker 1-2 3-4 5, Hutchison 5-9 0-2 10, Reid 6-10 0-0 18, Jessup 0-4 0-0 0, Haney 2-5 1-2 5, Jorch 2-3 0-0 4, Dickinson 0-1 0-0 0, Hobbs 1-5 5-6 8, Austin 7-10 10-10 25. Totals 25-53 20-26 79.
COLORADO ST. (14-9): Omogbo 6-16 1-1 16, Carvacho 1-3 2-2 4, Paige 6-11 4-4 20, Clavell 5-18 3-3 15, Nixon 5-8 1-2 13, Koelliker 1-2 1-2 3, Bonner 2-5 0-1 5. Totals 26-63 12-15 76.
Halftime—Boise St. 43-40. 3-Point Goals—Boise St. 9-20 (Reid 6-9, Austin 1-1, Hobbs 1-2, Duncan 1-3, Haney 0-1, Jessup 0-4), Colorado St. 12-24 (Paige 4-6, Omogbo 3-4, Nixon 2-5, Clavell 2-7, Bonner 1-2). Fouled Out—Omogbo, Nixon. Rebounds—Boise St. 30 (Hutchison 7), Colorado St. 34 (Omogbo 11). Assists—Boise St. 12 (Jessup 3), Colorado St. 12 (Paige 5). Total Fouls—Boise St. 17, Colorado St. 21. A—3,926 (8,745).