With a 69-66 victory over the Boise State Broncos, the San Diego State Aztecs now hold a 7-1 series advantage. Six of the last seven contests have come down to two possessions or less. The victory gives San Diego State a streak of 105 straight games where the Aztecs have won in a game where they have the lead or are tied with their opponent with under five minutes remaining.
At the five-minute mark in the second half, San Diego State had a comfortable 61-48 advantage. Josh Davis scored San Diego State’s last field goal with 5:18 remaining. From that point forward, the Broncos went on a frantic 18-6 run to pull within one basket. Bob Cousy Award candidate Derrick Marks score nine of his 21 points in that frantic run. Boise State elected to run an isolation play where Marks settled for a contested jump shot at the top of the key.
His missed shot represents a recurring theme for the Broncos this season. Boise State has put themselves in position to have a high seed in the NCAA tournament. After an 8-0 start, Boise State was projected to be a no. 9 seed. Since then, the Broncos have played themselves out of the NCAA tournament. Boise State has played their toughest schedule in school history, facing three teams in the top-15 for the first time.
Boise State had their chances against a Kentucky squad that looked disinterested through the duration of the contest. The Broncos also caught Iowa State in a peculiar funk from 3-point range, but could not thrust the final dagger into the heart of their opponent. Wednesday night was no exception as Boise State pulled within one point and had the chance to score the go-ahead bucket.
One of the main reasons for the team’s lack of success against the top-15 is the disappearing act of Jeff Elorriaga. He has played well against every opponent except the three teams in the top-15. He was blanked against San Diego State, and scored three points against the Cyclones and the Wildcats. That’s six total points in must-win contests.
Anthony Drmic and Marks have shouldered a vast majority of the offensive load this season, but Boise State needs Elorriaga to step up and become the third offensive option in big moments if it expects to play its way back into the NCAA Tournament.