Nelson leads Broncos to 77-68 win over Southern Utah

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Matt Nelson scored 16 points and had nine rebounds as Boise State defeated Southern Utah 77-68 on Saturday.

The Broncos (1-1) relied on three-pointers to break open a tight game and surge to a 38-21 lead with 3:55 left in the first half.

Trailing 10-9, the Broncos' Kenny Wilson hit a three-pointer that started a 29-18 run, with four other players hitting three-pointers, including back-to-back threes by Seth Robinson and Matt Bauscher.

Steve Barnes led the Thunderbirds (2-1) with 15 points and four assists. Orlando Griego and Justin Allen each added 10 points. The Thunderbirds rallied toward the end of the half when Barnes hit a layup and then a short jumper that started a 10-2 run to close the gap to 40-31.

But Southern Utah couldn't find a way to stop the Broncos, who alternated their three-point shots with shots close in. Coby Karl opened the second half with Boise State's first five points, Kenny Wilson added a steal and a dunk, Lane hit a three -- and the Broncos built a 57-38 lead about seven minutes into the second half.

Southern Utah slowly worked its way back, then had a six-point run that included a dunk by Allen to pull within 11. Griego cut the lead to 10 when he banked in a three-pointer.

But Boise State answered with three consecutive three-pointers, two by Karl and one by Bauscher, to push the lead back to 19 with about nine minutes to play. Southern Utah couldn't recover.

Eric Lane and Karl each had 14 points for the Broncos. Karl made four of seven three pointers. Boise State made 11 of 27 three-pointers in the game, with most of its other shots coming near the basket. The Broncos shot 51.7 percent.

Southern Utah made seven of 18 three-pointers and shot 47.5 percent from the field.

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