Bauscher leads Boise State over Utah State 88-78
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP)—Utah State coach Stew Morrill insisted there wasn’t much separating the Western Athletic Conference’s top four teams, and Boise State sure proved him right.
Matt Bauscher and Reggie Larry each scored 23 points and Aaron Garner came off the bench for a career-high 14 as fourth-seeded Boise State beat the Aggies 88-78 on Friday night in the WAC semifinals.
Tyler Tiedeman also had 14 for the Broncos (24-8), who did a defensive number on Utah State’s Jaycee Carroll, the WAC’s leading scorer with a 22.7 average.
The sharp-shooting Carroll, the conference player of the year, finished with 20 points but went scoreless over a 21-minute span that began in the first half. He was 7-of-17 from the floor and 6-for-12 from 3-point range.
Carroll made it interesting, though, hitting two late 3-pointers to pull the Aggies (24-10) to 79-71 with 1:49 remaining. Kris Clark added another 3-pointer to get Utah State within 83-76 with 1:11 to go.
Larry and Tiedeman steadied the Broncos, combining to make 5-of-6 free throws to control things down the stretch.
Bauscher had a strong night, making 8-of-10 from the field, including a 5-for-6 effort from 3-point range. He also drew the defensive assignment on Carroll when the Broncos went into a man-to-man.
Stephen DuCharme scored 17 for Utah State, which had its six-game winning streak end. Tyler Newbold scored 16 and Gary Wilkinson had 12.
Boise State also gained a measure of revenge.
The Broncos lost their season finale at home to Utah State, missing out on the WAC’s outright title. Utah State swept the season series, but it didn’t matter because Boise State won when it mattered most.
Utah State shared the WAC championship in a first-ever four-way tie, along with Boise State, Nevada and New Mexico State. Utah State earned the tournament’s top seed with a 4-2 record against the others.
Bauscher, who missed tying a career-high by one point, swished consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 14-4 run late in the first half for a 40-35 lead.
The Broncos led 42-37 at the break and 47-37 shortly into the second half after a basket by Anthony Thomas and another 3-pointer by Bauscher.
Then after DuCharme scored to trim the margin to 49-41, Matt Nelson had six points during an 8-2 spurt that opened Boise State’s lead to 57-43 with 15:50 to go, forcing Morrill to call timeout.
It didn’t help. The Broncos had control most of the night, and the lead grew as large as 69-52 when Larry made a 3-pointer with 9:53 remaining.
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