FRESNO – Boise State blew a 16-point lead in the second half but used a late Chibuzo Agbo 3-pointer and a key defensive stop to hang on for a 72-68 road win at Fresno State on Tuesday night.
“Any road Mountain West win is a good win,” Boise State guard Max Rice said. “It got really scary there at the end. … I don’t think a lot of teams could still win a game where the other team goes on a 21-3 run. It’s a huge road win and we’re playing for first place on Saturday.”
Agbo and Max Rice each had 16 points to lead the Broncos, who led 63-47 midway through the second half before Fresno State ripped off a 21-3 run to lead 68-66 with 2:10 to go.
After Agbo missed a 3-pointer on the other end, Rice snuck in behind the Fresno State defender and poked the ball free. It ended up back with Agbo in the corner, who drained a 3-pointer with 1:39 to go to put the Broncos in front 69-68.
“What resiliency by our guys,” Boise State coach Leon Rice told Bronco Nation News. “On the road it’s tough. … It says so much about our guys. They take the lead, on the road, it was loud in here, and our guys were tough enough to finish.”
O’Mar Stanley hit two free throws with 37 seconds left and Max Rice added another one with five seconds left to help the Broncos escape with a needed win.
“Terrific win,” Rice said. “Sure you’d like to go from 16 to 20 (point lead) but that’s life on the road. Give them credit. They banged in some shots and hit some big ones. … Somebody is going to come in here and not get it done, and we got it done.”
Stanley had 14 points and five rebounds but was on the bench for much of Fresno State’s comeback due to foul trouble.
Boise State got 12 points from its bench and out-rebounded Fresno State, 35-25.
The Broncos (14-5, 5-1 MW) are tied atop the Mountain West standings with Utah State, which comes to Boise on Saturday for a 2pm showdown at ExtraMile Arena.