Boise State rolls to 71-52 win over Fresno State
BOISE, Idaho (AP) James Webb III had 18 points and 10 rebounds as Boise State routed Fresno State on Saturday to claim at least a share of the Mountain West regular-season title.
Nick Duncan, Derrick Marks and Mikey Thompson each scored 14 points as the Broncos (24-7, 14-4) clinched the No. 1 seed for next week's Mountain West conference tournament.
Cezar Guerrero scored 11 points and Marvelle Harris added 10 for the Bulldogs (15-16, 10-8). Fresno State shot just 34.8 percent from the field while having a three-game winning streak halted.
Boise State scored the first nine points and never trailed. The Broncos led by nine at halftime and erupted on a 16-2 surge to start the second half.
San Diego State also could tie for first place with a win on Saturday night but Boise State holds the tiebreaker by virtue of winning both regular-season meetings with the Aztecs.
The Broncos were only worried about holding up their end of the deal as they had little trouble knocking off the Bulldogs.
Duncan and Webb each made four 3-pointers, Boise State possessed a 33-25 rebounding edge and the Broncos also scored 16 points off 14 Fresno State turnovers.
Boise State led by nine at halftime and blew the game open with the 16-2 burst to start the second half. Igor Hadziomerovic's steal and layup and 3-pointers by Webb and Duncan pushed the lead to 18 and Duncan highlighted the surge with another 3-pointer to make it 44-21 with 15:32 remaining.
Duncan drained his fourth 3-pointer of the contest to give Boise State a 25-point lead with 12:15 to go and Fresno State rebounded with a 13-5 push to pull within 54-37. A short time later, Marks rebounded Webb's missed free throw and banked in the follow to make it a 22-point margin and Webb hit another 3-pointer as the Broncos continued the assault while winning the first conference title in Leon Rice's five seasons as coach.
Boise State celebrated the league crown after the contest by dropping blue and orange confetti from the rafters and cutting down the nets. The Broncos have never won an NCAA Tournament game and are expected to receive an opportunity to end that later this month.
It took Fresno State more than six minutes to score as Boise State jumped out to the 9-0 lead before Harris got the Bulldogs on the board by hitting a jumper with 13:51 left in the first half. A 3-pointer by Webb increased the margin to 11 points with 10:45 to play.
Fresno State moved within 21-14 after Guerrero knocked down a 3-pointer with 6:23 left in the half. The Bulldogs twice again trailed by seven points until Marks drove for a basket with 14 seconds left to provide the Broncos with a 28-19 halftime edge.
Fresno State: The Bulldogs' 52 points tie for their second-fewest output this season. . The contest was Harris' 100th game as a Fresno State player and the 26th in a row in which he scored in double digits. . Guard Julien Lewis had just five points in 16 minutes before fouling out.
Boise State: Duncan has made four or more 3-pointers six times this season. . The conference title is the sixth in school history - the most recent one occurred in 2007-08 when the Broncos were in the Western Athletic Conference. . Marks had two steals to raise his career count to 185 and tie Doug Usitalo (1986-88) for third place in school history.
Fresno State plays Thursday in the Mountain West tournament.
Boise State plays Thursday in the Mountain West tournament.