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Boise State 107, New Mexico State 102

1 2 OT2OT3OT T
BSU (25-8) 34 37 91215 107
NMSU (21-14) 27 44 91210 102

Final

 3OT
Watch Highlights
Replay on ESPN360
9:00 PM ET, March 15, 2008
Pan American Center
Las Cruces, NM

Boise St. ends 14-year NCAA tourney drought with triple-OT win in WAC final

Boise State Wins WAC Title After 3OT Marathon
Photo Wire

Boise State's Reggie Larry, right, and teammate Kurt Cunningham celebrate their Western Athletic Conference basketball tournament final win over New Mexico State Saturday, March 15, 2008, in Las Cruces, N.M. Boise State won 107-102 in triple overtime. (AP Photo/Matt York)

· View photo | View gallery
Team Stat Comparison
BOISE STATE NEW MEXICO STATE
Points 107 102
FG Made-Attempted 38-79 (.481) 37-83 (.446)
3P Made-Attempted 10-22 (.455) 8-28 (.286)
FT Made-Attempted 21-30 (.700) 20-37 (.541)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 26 (0/0)
Largest Lead 16 4
Game Leaders
 BOISE STATENEW MEXICO STATE
PointsR. Larry 31H. Pope 20
ReboundsR. Larry 16H. Passos 15
AssistsR. Larry 4F. Peete 5
StealsM. Bauscher 4F. Peete 4
BlocksR. Larry 2H. Pope 2
 · Team Stats: Boise State | New Mexico State
Game Flow
2007-08 Season
DATEGAMELINKS
Jan 10, 2008 NMSU 76, @BOI 73Recap | Box Score
Feb 9, 2008 @NMSU 99, BOI 80Recap | Box Score
· Mar 15, 2008 BOI 107, @NMSU 102Recap | Box Score
Next 5 Games
BOISE STATE (ET) NEW MEXICO STATE (ET)
03/21 @UL 9:40pm
 · Complete Schedule: Boise State | New Mexico State
Western Athletic Conference Standings
TEAMCONF W-LTOTAL W-L
Boise State12-425-8
Utah State12-424-10
Nevada12-421-11
New Mexico State12-421-14
Fresno State5-1113-19
San Jose State4-1213-19
Hawaii7-911-19
Idaho5-118-21
Louisiana Tech3-136-24
 · View expanded standings

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) -- One overtime, two overtimes, and finally three. Reggie Larry briefly considered that this game might never stop.

"I really thought we would be going to a fourth overtime," he said.

Nope. It finally ended, just like Boise State's 14-year NCAA tournament drought.

Larry had 31 points and 16 rebounds as the Broncos reached the NCAAs for the first time since 1994, outlasting New Mexico State 107-102 for the WAC tournament title in a triple-overtime thriller Saturday night.

Matt Nelson added 26 points, Tyler Tiedeman had 17, Matt Bauscher scored 14 and Anthony Thomas 13 as the Broncos (25-8) got contributions from every corner of the lineup.

"Guys stepped up for us," Boise State coach Greg Graham said. "They all kept us moving along."

The last time the Broncos reached the NCAA tournament, they won the Big Sky tourney but lost to Louisville in the first round.

Getting there this time was a real marathon, with the contest tied at 71 at the end of regulation, at 80 after the first overtime and at 92 after two OTs.

But Boise State finally built up enough cushion, with Larry scoring twice in a 6-0 burst to start the final overtime.

Thomas provided the insurance, slashing for a layup and foul that he turned into a three-point play and 102-97 lead with 42.6 seconds to go.

"That was the one that hurt us," Aggies coach Marvin Menzies said. "It gave them a window of opportunity to protect the clock."

Seconds later, Thomas forced NMSU's Jonathan Gibson into a backcourt violation, and it was fiesta time back in Idaho.

Freshman Herb Pope led the Aggies (21-14) with 20 points, playing through foul trouble since picking up his third late in the first half.

Justin Hawkins had 18 and Fred Peete scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half as New Mexico State erased a 16-point deficit.

The Broncos survived in a hostile environment driven by passionate NMSU fans, then cut down the nets in a largely vacant arena. Graham noted it was fitting that his team won a school-record 11 road games, then capped it this way.

"All the odds were stacked against us," Nelson said. "It's a tough environment, a tough team. But we pulled it off because we're family. We're tight."

At the final horn, Bauscher threw the ball into the rafters and several of his teammates jumped atop a courtside table to cheer with a contingent of fans in orange and blue.

"Here it is. Here it is," Larry said, proudly holding the WAC trophy high in the air. "Going back to Boise."

Larry added 16 rebounds and was named tournament MVP, capping a three-day run where he scored 26 points in a win over Hawaii and 23 as the fourth-seeded Broncos beat No. 1 Utah State.

"I just had a great tournament," he said, smiling. "Before the Hawaii game, I told everyone I wanted to do as much as I could to help us. There were no guarantees we'd go to the NCAA tournament."

Peete was fabulous as the Aggies stormed from behind. They outscored the Broncos 35-19 after Bauscher's 3-pointer put Boise State into a seemingly safe 52-36 lead with 13:47 remaining.

New Mexico State chipped away, though, getting big baskets from Pope, Hawkins, Peete and especially Gibson, who put New Mexico State ahead 71-70 with a huge 3-pointer with 24 seconds to play in regulation.

It was pandemonium at the Pan American Center.

"I never thought we were going to lose," Hawkins said. "We never doubted it. Every time we tied it up and it was going into the next overtime, we thought, 'All right. Here we go."

Shortly after an airball on a free throw, Larry tied it at 71, making one of two free throws to tie it with 16.8 seconds to play. Larry said he caught the ball with a thumb on the way up but agreed the noisy crowd contributed.

"You're hearing all kinds of things out there," he said. "Your legs are shaking."

It went to overtime when Peete missed a runner in the lane as regulation time expired.

The Aggies came into the tournament on a tear, winning five straight and 10 of 11 down the stretch. They were hoping to repeat a title after winning the tournament on their homecourt to reach the NCAAs for the first time since 1999.

But the WAC, with a No. 20 national conference RPI, is likely to send only the tournament champion to the NCAA tournament after four teams shared the regular-season title for the first time.

That leaves New Mexico State, Nevada and Utah State to make plans for the NIT.

"I'm still a little shell-shocked," Menzies said.


Men's Basketball Scores

Other Scores:

Saturday, March 15th
Boise State 107 Final
New Mexico State 102 3OT