Boise State rallies to beat Utah State 70-67 behind Webb

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) James Webb III scored 19 points and Boise State rallied from 13 points down in the second half to beat Utah State 70-67 on Tuesday.

The Broncos (16-7, 7-3 Mountain West) didn't lead until Lonnie Jackson hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 1:28 left to play. It was his first 3-pointer after missing six attempts from behind the arc.

Webb scored all but two of his points in the second half, when Boise State twice rallied from double-digit deficits to finally overtake the Aggies (11-10, 3-7) and sweep the season series.

''Our guys have backbone and character and could have surrendered and found ways to lose that game,'' Boise State coach Leon Rice said. ''Instead, we found a way to get it done.''

Utah State led 67-63 with 2:48 to play, but the Aggies didn't score again.

''This is our toughest loss of the year,'' Utah State coach Tim Duryea said. ''We did so many things so well . we responded a couple times and righted the ship, but we just look like a group that's afraid to win.''

Chris Smith scored 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting for the Aggies, who had a final chance to win or force overtime. Down 69-67 with 12 seconds left, Shane Rector drove to the basket and his layup was off the mark. Jackson rebounded and hit 1 of 2 free throws to seal the win.

''He got fouled - there's absolutely no question,'' Duryea said. ''I saw the hand on his wrist.''

Boise State, which has had difficulty closing out games this season, somehow finished this one.

''We have been preposterously bad defensively the last five minutes of games,'' Rice said. ''As crazy as it sounds with 12 seconds to go, I was like `great we have to get a stop to win this game. This is good.' I'm not sure we got a stop, but the ball didn't go in.''

Mikey Thompson scored 16 points and Anthony Drmic added 12 for Boise State, which made only 5 of 23 shots from 3-point range. The Broncos had a 39-22 edge on the boards and scored 18 second-chance points off of 17 offensive rebounds.

''We're not a very tough group,'' Duryea said.

Chris Smith led Utah State with 20 points. Jalen Moore and Rector added 11 apiece for the Aggies, who lost despite shooting 50 percent from the field and making 12 of 22 from 3-point range.



The loss was the fourth in a row for Utah State, which has endured a four-game losing streak in three consecutive seasons. Prior to this current stretch, the Aggies hadn't lost four in a row since the 1993-94 season, when Larry Eustachy was coach.

Freshman center Robin Jorch made his first career start for Boise State. He replaced Jackson in the starting lineup. Jackson had started the previous 13 games.

Rector, who comes off the bench for Utah State, has scored in double figures in six consecutive games.


Boise State visits Air Force on Saturday.

San Diego State visits Wyoming on Saturday.