No. 21 San Diego State tops Boise State 66-53
By TODD DVORAK
BOISE, Idaho (AP) Boise State senior Westly Perryman had a different scenario in mind for his final home game.
But hopes that the Broncos could pull off an upset vanished early amid poor shooting and a defense that had few answers for San Diego State's potent offense.
The 21st-ranked Aztecs (23-6, 9-4) coasted Wednesday night, beating the Broncos 66-53 to sweep the season series and keep alive their chances for a second straight Mountain West Conference regular season title.
"Before the game we were focused and ready to play," said Perryman, who was honored before the game with fellow senior Tre' Nichols. "Guys wanted to win for me and Tre', and we wanted to go out with a `W.'"
But the Boise State offense did little to make that happen.
The Broncos (13-15, 3-10) shot 40 percent from the field, made just 2 of 16 3-point attempts and made 11 of 25 free throws. It was hardly enough to keep pace with Jamaal Franklin and his Aztec teammates.
Franklin scored 18 points and the Aztecs shot 50 percent in their first-ever trip to Taco Bell Arena.
"Once you're missing shots, it's kind of deflating," Perryman said. "Everything starts to crumble when you're missing shots and they go on a run and you see the score going up and up and up. That just deflates you as player, and it's hard to come back because that's a great team."
The win was the third straight for the Aztecs, who stayed in a tie for first place with New Mexico heading into Saturday's regular season finales. San Diego State travels to TCU this weekend, while Boise State travels to New Mexico.
Franklin scored 12 points in the first half, helping SDSU take a 38-22 lead. Boise State surged early in the second half, at one point cutting the lead to 11 points, but Franklin and the Aztecs never let the Broncos get any closer.
Derrick Marks led the Broncos with 13 points and Anthony Drimic had 10 points and a team-best five rebounds.
The Broncos cut the lead to 41-30 when Marks hit a short jumper with 15:20 left in the game, but that's as close as they got.
On the next possession, Franklin hit two free throws, triggering a 16-6 run over the next 7 minutes. James Rahon's 3-pointer at the 7:52 mark gave the Aztecs a 57-36 lead, their biggest of the game.
For San Diego State, the win and three-game streak provides momentum heading into the conference championship and postseason, and for now puts to rest doubts that emerged when the Aztecs lost three straight last month, including defeats to UNLV and New Mexico.
Updated March 1, 2012