Boise State Defeats Fresno State 78-73 To Advance To Semifinals

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP)Coby Karl hit five free throws in the final minute and helped with a late steal that sealed Boise State's 78-73 win over Fresno State in a Western Athletic Conference quarterfinal game Thursday.

Boise State (17-13) rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit behind the scoring of Karl. He had 11 of his 13 points in the second half and sparked the comeback. The Broncos also benefited when Fresno State leading scorer Quinton Hosley was ejected with 17:14 left for throwing an elbow that connected with the right side of Karl's head.

Fresno State (22-9) had its six-game winning steak snapped. The Bulldogs had just one field goal over the final four minutes, but still had a chance in the final seconds.

Boise State had a 76-70 lead with 34.5 seconds left after two free throws by Karl and two more by Eric Lane gave. Fresno State's Hector Hernandez followed with a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left, and the Bulldogs then forced a turnover on Boise State's inbound pass.

Fresno State called a timeout but Boise State's defense prevented the Bulldogs from getting a good look, and Karl and teammate Anthony Thomas stole the ball from Fresno guard Eddie Miller with two seconds left.

Karl, an 83 percent free throw shooter, finished 6 of 8 from the line.

Seth Robinson scored 11 and fellow reserve Anthony Thomas added 15, part of a Boise State bench that outscored Fresno State's bench 26-4. The Broncos also out-rebounded Fresno State 49-35 and had 19 offensive boards.

Kevin Bell scored 20 points and Hernandez had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs.

Boise State, the sixth-seeded team in the tournament, moves on to Friday's semifinal.


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