Utah State rallies past Boise State 78-75 to advance in MWC

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Sam Merrill scored 28 points, shooting 7 of 10 from 3-point range, and seventh-seeded Utah State came back to beat No. 2 seed Boise State 78-75 in a Mountain West Basketball Conference Tournament quarterfinal on Thursday night.

The Aggies (17-16) advance to a Friday semifinal game.

Koby McEwen tied it at 73 with 1:41 left and Dwayne Brown Jr.’s free throw almost a minute later gave Utah State the lead for good. Chandler Hutchison missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

Boise State (23-8) raced to a 16-7 lead with Christian Sengfelder burying a pair of 3-pointers and Justinian Jessup and Lexus Williams each adding a 3. Alex Hobbs later made a pair of free throws, a layup and a 3 and the Broncos led 36-20.

Utah State climbed back in it with a 12-4 run in the last three minutes to end the half, and after the break went on 9-0 run — Merill scored seven points — and the Aggies were within 51-50. McEwen’s jumper with 11:12 left gave their Aggies their first lead at 55-54. Williams followed with a jumper, and Diogo Brito made a 3 to put Utah State back up.

Williams led Boise State with 24 points.

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