Boise State narrowly escapes Moby Arena with a 70-68 victory over Colorado State

Over the years, the Colorado State-Boise State rivalry has provided many memorable moments, but last year’s two meetings resulted in a pair of blowout wins for the Broncos. On Tuesday night, the conference matchup returned to its typical competitive form, with each team going back and forth for 40 minutes and refusing to give an inch. In the end, it was the visiting Broncos that escaped Moby Arena with a 70-68 victory, but the game was up for grabs until the very end.

“Tough game for us tonight. A disappointing loss,” head coach Niko Medved said. “You’ve gotta give Boise State a lot of credit. They got down early and they came back. I just don’t think we did a very good job of responding until right there at the end, but it was too late.”

After CSU jumped out to an early 11-4 lead, Boise State rallied to take a 5-point lead into halftime (35-30). The Broncos would end up leading the final 23:43, but the Rams made things interesting in the final minute.

Down five with 20 seconds remaining, Anthony Masinton-Bonner was able to knock down a contested 3-pointer to bring the Rams within a single bucket (68-66). After BSU knocked down two free throws to raise its lead back to four (70-66), J.D. Paige was then fouled while shooting a 3-pointer from the corner with .07 seconds remaining.

Paige made his first two attempts from the charity stripe, before intentionally missing the third, so that Nico Carvacho would have a chance to tip it in. Paige was able to perfectly get the basketball to bounce off the rim and to his center’s hands, but unfortunately for the ‘Big Chile’, with so little time on the clock, the redshirt junior was unable to get a solid grip and the final attempt was no good.

“It came off my hand wrong,” Carvacho said. “I didn’t have enough time to grab it, I just had to tip it. So, I knew as soon as it hit my hand and I could see the trajectory of it.”

In a losing effort, Carvacho became the No. 3 rebounder in CSU men’s basketball history with 12 points and 16 rebounds Tuesday night. Carvacho was one of four Rams to finish the evening with double digit scoring figures, along with Kris Martin (13), J.D. Paige (12) and Anthony Masinton-Bonner (11).

The Rams will look to rebound on the road this Saturday against Air Force. CSU defeated the Falcons, 87-64 at Moby Arena on Jan. 8, but the Falcons have gone 4-1 over the last five games, with its only loss being No. 8 Nevada.

“They have a pretty complicated offense,” Carvacho said. “If we play like we did here the first time, then we’ll have a good chance of getting the same result.”