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Boise State ends Wolf Pack's Mountain West tournament dreams

The Nevada Wolf Pack was eliminated from the Mountain West tournament on Thursday night by the Boise State Broncos, 75-62, in Las Vegas.
The Nevada Wolf Pack was eliminated from the Mountain West tournament on Thursday night by the Boise State Broncos, 75-62, in Las Vegas.
Nevada Media Services

The Boise State Broncos beat the Nevada Wolf Pack at the free throw line Thursday night in the Mountain West tournament.

The Broncos made their final 14 free throws in the final 2:30 to eliminate the Wolf Pack from the tournament, 75-62, at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. The Broncos outscored the Pack 19-5 over the final 5:40 after a Michael Perez lay-up gave the Wolf Pack a 57-56 lead.

The Pack's Deonte Burton scored 22 points to lead all scorers. Burton's final points came on a jumper with 1:41 to go to cut Boise's lead to 65-59.

The Wolf Pack fell to 15-17 with the loss. Boise is now 21-12 and will face New Mexico in the tournament semifinals Friday night at 8:30 p.m. UNLV will meet San Diego State in the other semifinal at 6 p.m.

The Wolf Pack shot just 32 percent from the floor and suffered through numerous scoring droughts during the game. Boise shot just 40 percent from the floor but made 28-of-35 free throws. The Pack was 21-of-24 from the line. Another big difference in the game was 3-point shooting. The Pack missed 15-of-20 from beyond the arc while Boise State made 9-of-25.

Four 3-pointers, by Nick Duncan, Mikey Thompson, Jeff Elorriaga and Thomas Bropleh, gave Boise a 17-10 lead seven minutes into the game.

The Wolf Pack, though, went on a 15-1 run that spanned just over five minutes to take a 32-28 lead with 3:09 to go in the first half. Cole Huff had two 3-pointers during the run and Jerry Evans had a lay-up and a 3-pointer. Burton also had two free throws and a dunk to start the run.

The Wolf Pack, though, failed to score in the final three minutes of the first half as Boise rallied to tie the game at 32-32 at the break. The Pack missed its final seven shots of the first half.

The Wolf Pack scoring problems continued in the second half. The Pack scored just two points in the first five minutes of the second half, giving them just two points over an eight-minute stretch to end the first half and start the second half.

The Broncos went on a 15-0 run in the second half that took just 2:44 to take a 47-34 lead. Elorriaga and Derrick Marks had 3-pointers early in the run and Marks also added a lay-up and a 3-point play to cap it off.

The Wolf Pack's four-plus minute scoring drought ended with a lay-up by Marqueze Coleman, cutting Boise's lead to 47-36 with 14:54 to play.

The Pack then got right back in the game.

Burton hit a 3-pointer and Perex and A.J. West each had lay-ups as the Pack pulled to within 51-48. Elorriaga hit another 3-pointer to extend Boise's lead to 54-48 but the Pack went on a 9-2 run to take a 57-56 lead on a Perez lay-up. Huff had a key 3-pointer in the run to cut Boise's lead to 56-55 with 6:23 to go.

Perez's lay-up with 5:59 to go, though, was the last time the Pack led.

Bropleh nailed a 3-pointer to give Boise a 5957 lead with 5:40 to go and Watkins put back a miss by Anthony Drmic with 3:17 left to give the Broncos a 61-57 lead.

Boise State then started its parade to the free throw line. The Broncos made 14 in a row to close out the game with Marks hitting 8-of-8. Marks finished the game with 16 points and was 11-of-11 from the line and just 2-of-9 fro the floor.

Drmic added 17 points for the Broncos despite going 0-for-5 on 3-pointers. Elorriaga had nine points on three 3-pointers and Bropleh had seven points and eight rebounds. Watkins chipped in with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Huff had 17 points to back up Burton's 22. They didn't get much help, though, from their teammates. Perez had six points and was 2-for-11 from the field and 0-for-5 on 3-pointers. Evans had seven points and missed 5-of-7 shots. Coleman had two points and was 1-of-6 from the floor. West scored just four points and had just three rebounds in 16 minutes.

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