CSU men’s basketball lets one slip away in 82-78 loss at Boise State

Boise State pulled off the stunning 82-78 comeback win in a game that will haunt Colorado State men’s basketball.

The Rams seemed to have an impressive road win within their grasp but had a 12-point second half lead ripped away by BSU and a red-hot Derrick Marks.

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With his team up 73-68 and just 2:29 to play in the game, CSU head coach Larry Eustachy received an untimely technical foul. Marks made both of the resulting free throws to bring his team within one score, and one minute later he knocked down the go-ahead 3-pointer to give the Broncos (15-6, 5-3 MW) a lead they never relinquished.

The first half was a game of runs. After Boise State jumped out to an 11-3 lead, Colorado State responded with a 10-2 run of their own to tie things at 13-13 with 11:42 left in the first half.

Marks would put the Broncos up 22-17 with 9:00 left to play on a long jumper (his only points of the first half) but the Rams respond with an 11-0 run including seven straight points from Daniel Bejarano.

A 3-pointer by BSU’s Mikey Thompson tied things up at 28-28 before CSU closed out the final 4:16 seconds of the first half on a 12-2 run to carry a 40-30 lead into the break. Joe De Ciman led the Rams with 10 points in the first half.

BSU then proceeded to put on a shooting clinic in the second half after going just 36.7 percent from the field in the first. The Broncos shot 9-for-12 from behind the arc in the second frame with their first 21 points coming on 3-pointers. Marks scored 26 of his 28 points in the second, including a 3-pointer to cut CSU’s lead to 70-68 with 4:45 to play.

The Rams were up 73-68 with 2:29 to play when CSU’s J.J. Avila was called for a questionable charging foul and Eustachy was slapped with a technical foul for arguing with the officials. After Marks made the free throws, he found a cutting Rob Heyer who finished a layup to cut CSU’s lead to 73-72. Marks then stole the ball from Avila and hit a 3-pointer to put the Broncos up 75-73 with 1:22 left in the game.

With 0:56 to play and a chance to tie, Avila missed the back end of a one-and-one. Marks made two free throws to put the Broncos up 77-74 with 0:42 before Daniel Bejarano was stripped on the next play and BSU was able to ice the game.

Despite winning the rebounding battle 39-27, the Rams shot themselves in the foot with 14 turnovers which resulted in 23 points for the Broncos. CSU’s stars Avila and Bejarano went a combined 10-for-28 on field goals, and the team missed seven of their last nine field goal attempts.

Stanton Kidd was CSU’s only double-digit scorer to also shoot at least 50 percent from the field. The senior scored 13 points and went 3-for-3 from deep.

Boise State’s James Webb III recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. He scored all of his points in the second half, including three consecutive 3-pointers to spark the Broncos’ run. Webb and Marks combined to score 43 points with 41 coming in the second half.

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CSU returns home to take on Fresno State in a must-win game Saturday at 4 p.m. MT at Moby Arena.

Collegian Sports Reporter Emmett McCarthy can be reached by email at emccarthy@collegian.com and on Twitter @emccarthy22.