Broncos Break Nation's Longest Winning Streak With 66-56 Win Over No. 21 Utah State

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -Mark Sanchez scored 20 points, Anthony Thomas had 18 and Boise State snapped the longest winning streak in the nation at 19 with a 66-56 victory against No. 21 Utah State on Saturday night.

The Aggies (24-2, 12-1 Western Athletic Conference) also missed out on a chance to clinch the conference title outright and set a school record for most consecutive victories.

Boise State (17-7, 7-4) trailed most of the first half, but led the entire second half behind a tenacious defense that forced 19 turnovers, nearly twice Utah State's season average.

The Aggies, who came into the game averaging 72.4 points per game, were led by Gary Wilkinson and Jared Quayle, each with 12 points. After shooting 42.3 percent in the first half, Utah State's shooters cooled in the second, hitting just 8-for-26 and 3-for-9 from behind the 3-point arc.

Boise State shot 48.1 percent in the second half.

Paul Noonan and Ike Okoye each chipped in nine points apiece for the Broncos, winners of three of their last four games. Boise State came up with nine steals and three blocked shots.

The Broncos, the defending WAC champions, avenged a Jan. 17 loss to the Aggies with a furious start to the second half. Thomas hit back-to-back 3-pointers, his second at 17:43 to put the Broncos up 35-26. Minutes later, Sanchez drove to the basket and sank a one-hander to put Boise State up by 12, the biggest margin of the game.

The Aggies pulled within 60-54 when Brady Jardine scored on a layup, but the Broncos held on in the final minutes thanks to free throw shooting - they went 4-for-4 from the line - and a defense that stymied the Aggies' best scorers.

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