Broncos Defeat Gauchos in OT BracketBuster Thriller
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – La’Shard Anderson scored on a put-back as time expired, sending the Boise State men’s basketball team to a 78-76 overtime victory against former Big West Conference foe UC Santa Barbara in a BracketBuster game Saturday at the Thunderdome.

Paul Noonan led Boise State (15-11) with 20 points – his fourth 20-point outing of the season – becoming the 20th men’s basketball player in school history to eclipse 1,000 for his career. He now has 1,016, and is currently 18th on Boise State’s career scoring list, passing Jason Ellis (1,004; 2001-05) and Anthony Thomas (1,005; 2006-10).

Daequon Montreal (19), Anderson (18) and Jeff Elorriaga (10) also scored in double figures.

Anderson had tied the game at 72 with a pair of free throws with 1:20 left in overtime, and moved the Broncos in front with a lay-up with 50 seconds remaining (74-73). With 35.9 seconds on the clock, the Gauchos’ James Nunnally missed two free throw attempts, and UCSB (14-11) sent Noonan to the line 19 seconds later. He made both, putting the Broncos in front 76-73.

UCSB’s Orlando Johnson nailed a 3-pointer with 8.5 seconds left in overtime, tying the game at 76. The Broncos came back down the floor, and a 3-pointer from Wes Perryman was off the mark. Anderson grabbed the rebound under the basket and sank the put-back as time expired for the win.

Anderson scored 10 of the Broncos’ 14 points in overtime, and he and Noonan were each a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the extra period.

Boise State had built its largest lead in the game’s opening minutes, pulling ahead by seven (11-4). After starting 5-of-10 from the floor, the Broncos cooled off, going just 4-of-20 for the remainder of the opening half.

The Broncos were held scoreless for a stretch of more than five minutes, and UCSB was able to build as much as a six-point advantage before entering intermission with a 30-26 lead.

Montreal stormed out of the gate in the second half, scoring five points during a 7-0 Bronco run to start the period. Boise State moved in front 33-30, the first of 13 lead changes during the stanza.

With 1:35 left in regulation, Elorriaga went 2-for-2 from the free throw line to tie the game at 62. Anderson and Noonan each went 1-for-2 from the line in the final 45 seconds of the half, giving the Broncos a two-point lead. But UCSB’s Johnson went 2-for-2 from the charity stripe with 6.1 seconds left, ultimately sending the game into overtime.

Boise State won its first BracketBuster game since defeating Albany 83-82, Feb. 16, 2007, ending a three-game slide. The WAC went 8-1 in BracketBuster games in 2011.

The Broncos are now 2-1 in their three overtime games this season, the most since going to extra minutes four times in 2007-08.

Montreal also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, Anderson recorded a career-high tying nine assists and Elorriaga scored in double figures for the first time during his Bronco career.

The Broncos return to conference play next week, traveling to play Fresno State (Feb. 24) and Nevada (Feb. 26).

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