LAS VEGAS -- Jamaal Franklin had 19 points and eight rebounds as San Diego State held off Boise State for a 73-67 victory in the Mountain West tournament quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
Xavier Thames scored 18 points and Chase Tapley 17 for the fourth-seeded Aztecs (22-9), who advanced to Friday's semifinals against No. 1 seed New Mexico.Anthony Drmic had 20 points and Derrick Marks 14 for the fifth-seeded Broncos (21-10), who figure to be sweating out NCAA tournament selection day on Sunday.The Aztecs led for much of the game but were unable to put a knockout punch on Boise State, who erased a 13-point second half deficit while San Diego State went scoreless for 3:39. Two free throws by Drmic gave the Broncos their only lead, 50-49, but Franklin quickly responded with a pair from the line and led the Aztecs' charge down the stretch.Franklin's thunderous transition dunk made the score 66-59 with 43 seconds remaining, as San Diego State did what few teams in the nation do better -- close out a game. The Aztecs have won 91 straight contests it led with five minutes remaining in regulation.
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Around Champ Week
MVP: Jamaal Franklin lived up to his status as a first-round prospect in this summer's NBA draft. He finished with 19 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals. His dunk with 43 seconds left extended SDSU's lead to seven and essentially sealed the victory.
X Factor: Derrick Marks scored 27 points in Boise State's victory over SDSU on Saturday. But Marks was held to 14 points and a 4-for-22 clip (18.2 percent) from the field Wednesday. With its star struggling, Boise State couldn't match last weekend's rhythm.
That was jeopardizing: SDSU is certainly a bubble team that needed some momentum in the tournament. An early exit in Las Vegas could lead Leon Rice's program to the NIT.