FRESNO, Calif. --- After leading by one at halftime, the Fresno State men's basketball team struggled in the second half in being handed a 72-63 loss to Boise State on Saturday night with a "White Out" at the Save Mart Center.
"They are probably the best shooting team in the league," Fresno State head coach Rodney Terry said of Boise State. "They got a couple good, open looks at the start and got a hot hand (Elorriaga) and give them a lot of credit, they hit a lot of shots."
Elorriaga finished 6 of 10 from behind the arc on his way to 20 points. Teammate Anthony Drmic finished 12 of 15 at the free throw line on the way to a team-high 28 points to help Boise State (18-8, 6-6 Mountain West) continue to build its resume for the NCAA Tournament.
"Drmic was tough for us to deal with," Terry said. "He went to work on us and got to the paint and scored tough baskets."
The 'Dogs got off to a hot start from the field, making 10 of 21 field goals in the opening 20 minutes. Allen Huddleston led the way with 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting including three three-points at the break.
Fresno State closed the first half with quick 4-0 run that featured a Tyler Johnson jumper, then a steal and a pass ahead to Braeden Andersen for a dunk that gave the `Dogs their one-point lead going into the break.
But in the first five minutes of the second half, Elorriaga nailed three three-pointers as part of a run that saw Boise State pull ahead by as much 17.
Fresno State (9-17, 3-10 MW) would cut into the Bronco lead down the stretch and with 2:16 left moved to within six after a Marvelle Harris lay-up. However, Boise State would make seven of eight free throws over the final minutes of play to put the game away.
"We cut it to a two-possession game with an opportunity to finish a defensive stop and to come back down to make it a one-possession game," Terry said.
Huddleston finished with a team-high 21 points. He finished 6-of-10 from the field including four three-pointers. He was one of four `Dogs in double-figures. Tyler Johnson, the team's leading scorer for the season, finished with 15 points and Kevin Olekaibe and Marvelle Harris each added 10.
The Broncos made 25-of-31 from the free throw to finish 81 percent at the line. This impressive free throw performance came after the Broncos converted all 26 of their free throw attempts in the game in Boise. Meanwhile, Fresno State shot just 64%, making 16 of 25 shots at the line.
The 'Dogs are now down to their final three Mountain West Conference games of the season before the conference tournament in Las Vegas on March 12-16.
Fresno State next plays on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. PT when the Bulldogs travel to Fort Collins, Colo., to face Colorado State at Moby Arena, where the Rams have won 27 of their past 28 home games.
Courtesy: Fresno St. Athletics