Boise State vs San Diego State

San Diego St. wins at buzzer wire reports

LAS VEGAS -- Everybody in the arena knew the ball was going to San Diego State star sophomore guard Jamaal Franklin in the closing seconds of a tie game against scrappy Boise State.

The Broncos got two players in his face. Franklin, doing what conference players of the year are supposed to, didn't flinch. He lofted an off-balance 3-pointer over the double-team and then landed on his backside as it went through at the buzzer to give top-seeded and No. 18 San Diego State a 65-62 victory over No. 8 seed Boise State in the Mountain West Conference tournament opener Thursday.

"I believed in myself," Franklin said. "I always practice the last shot. When it left my hand, I felt it was going to go in."

Said teammate Chase Tapley: "He does that in practice. He goes, 5-4-3-2-1 and it goes in."

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BSU coach Leon Rice said the Broncos "couldn't have guarded it better. Derrick (Marks) almost poked it away to start out with, then Thomas (Bropleh) did a great job of guarding him without fouling him, too. He threw up a tough, tough shot. But, you know, a great player like that is a shot-maker, especially at the end of the game. That's why we were committed to take two guys to guard him. You got to give him credit. He made a heck of a shot."

Franklin said it was a "very tough look" after he got the pass from Xavier Thames. "X did a great job giving me the ball because they denied me all the way out to basically halfcourt. X did a great job giving me the ball. My first object was to get to the rim. They kind of double-teamed me. I just shot the 3."

While the Aztecs celebrated, Bropleh collapsed in disbelief and had to be consoled by teammates.

The Aztecs (25-6) were up by 11 with 6:43 to play and then squandered an eight-point lead in the final three minutes. Xavier Thames' turnover against a full-court press set up Bropleh for an inside shot to tie at 62 with 26 seconds left. The Aztecs called timeout to set up the final shot by Franklin.

Franklin did what he usually does in practice.

"In the last eight minutes of practice, they do what they want," said Steve Fisher, the MWC Coach of the Year. "Last one, he waits and he waits and he shoots at zero. If he makes it, he falls to the ground. He's unafraid of the moment. Jamal is turning into an extremely talented, confident basketball player. Chase and Xavier were terrific in the second half. We're proud of the fact we're still here."

Tapley scored 20 for the Aztecs, Franklin had 19 and Thames 14. Anthony Drmic finished with 19 points for the Broncos while Bropleh added 11 and Derrick Marks and Kenny Buckner 10 apiece. Boise State dominated the Aztecs on the boards, 31-22.

Tapley scored 10 points during what seemed to be the decisive stretch for the Aztecs, who are trying to win their third straight MWC tournament title. The Aztecs were supposed to be rebuilding after losing four starters off last year's NCAA tournament round-of-16 team, including Kawhi Leonard to the NBA. They shared the regular-season title with New Mexico and got the top seed for the tournament on a tiebreaker.

"Our game today is indicative of how close the level is in our league," Fisher said. "People would have talked if they won, 'Oh, what a big upset it was.' This is an outstanding basketball league. There are no big upsets. I told Leon, 'I'm sorry the game ended the way it did.' But obviously I'm excited we're moving on. We feel fortunate we're moving on. He and they have done a wonderful job. That's a good team."

Boise State played the Aztecs tough until midway through the second half, when the Broncos' shots stopped falling and Tapley got hot.

With the Aztecs leading 45-42, Tapley made a layup, two 3-pointers and a baseline jumper in the next four minutes to help give SDSU a 57-46 lead. Boise State countered only with a baseline shot by Drmic and two free throws by Ryan Watkins.

Tapley hit another 3 with 3:01 left for a 60-52 lead. Drmic answered with a 3-pointer and Marks made a layup and converted a three-point play with 1:12 left to pull the Broncos to 60-58.

Franklin made a layup before Drmic was fouled taking a 3-pointer. He made two of the three free throws to again make it a two-point game with 37.8 seconds to play.

Tapley had the ball for the Aztecs but was closely guarded by two Broncos. He threw wildly to Thames, who in a desperate attempt to keep it inbounds threw it toward the key. The Broncos got it and Bropleh put up the tying shot.

The Aztecs swept the regular-season series, winning in San Diego only after Bropleh missed an open 3-point shot from the corner as the final seconds ticked off in a two-point game. SDSU won at BSU 66-53 on Feb. 29.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
San Diego State sophomore Jamaal Franklin is rushed by his teammates after hitting the game-winning shot.  (Getty Images)
San Diego State sophomore Jamaal Franklin is rushed by his teammates after hitting the game-winning shot. (Getty Images)
Boise State (13-17)323062
San Diego State #18 (25-6) «303565
BST:A. Drmic 19 Pts
BST:A. Drmic 7 Reb
BST:A. Drmic 3 Ast
SDGST:C. Tapley 20 Pts
SDGST:X. Thames 5 Reb
SDGST:C. Tapley 4 Ast

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Boise StateSan Diego State
Anthony Drmic
Jamaal Franklin
Boise State Broncos
A. Drmic, G-F385-106-773219
T. Bropleh, F354-111-251011
D. Marks, G334-91-153210
K. Buckner, F245-70-060410
J. Elorriaga, G160-20-01110
D. Wiley, G233-60-01208
R. Watkins, F161-52-24124
W. Perryman, G80-10-00010
J. Hanstad, G70-00-00000
T. Nichols, GDid Not Play
J. Crayton, FDid Not Play
I. Hadziomerovic, GDid Not Play
D. Hamilton, FDid Not Play
J. Ness, FDid Not Play
M. Thompson, GDid Not Play
Totals 22-5110-1229111262
San Diego State Aztecs
J. Rahon, G381-40-02033
J. Franklin, G386-105-753219
C. Tapley, G378-140-014020
X. Thames, G375-112-253314
T. Shelton, F173-41-24017
D. Stephens, F171-30-23022
G. Green, F90-00-00010
L. Franklin, G70-10-00110
A. Williams, FDid Not Play
J. Castleberry, GDid Not Play
A. Douglas, GDid Not Play
N. Ebrahimian, GDid Not Play
R. Staten, GDid Not Play
Totals 24-478-1320111365
Western Athletic
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
New Mex. St.11-328-659
Grand Canyon11-322-9131
Utah Valley6-817-17205
UT-Rio Grande Valley2-1210-22319
Chicago St.1-136-26317

Mountain West
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Colorado St.13-524-1266
Boise St.12-620-1272
Fresno St.11-720-1376
New Mexico10-817-1486
San Diego St9-919-1498
San Jose St.7-1114-16191
Utah St.7-1114-17181
Air Force4-1412-21251
Other games
UConn 55 Final
Syracuse 58
K-State 74 Final
Baylor 82
PSU 58 Final
Indiana 75
GTOWN 70 Final
Cincinnati 72
Tx A&M 66 Final
Kansas 83
Louisville 84 Final
MU 71
Okla St 70 Final
Missouri 88
S Florida 53 Final
ND 57
Texas 71 Final
Iowa St 65
Wyoming 48 Final