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Boise State holds off North Texas 79-73

Nov 29, 2009 - 4:58 AM BOISE, Idaho(AP) -- Robert Arnold came off the bench to score a season-high 17 points and spark Boise State to a 79-73 victory over North Texas Saturday night.

Arnold, a transfer from Antelope Community College, scored seven points in a 17-4 Boise State run midway through the second half, enabling the Broncos (4-2) to take control of a tight contest where neither team led by more than eight points.

Boise State center Kurt Cunningham also recorded a season-high 17 points while grabbing eight rebounds. Ike Okoye pulled down eight rebounds and blocked three shots.

Josh White scored 23 points to lead North Texas (3-2), and Eric Tramiel chipped in 14.

Playing in its third road game of the season, North Texas maintained its poise after falling behind early. Trailing 26-20, the Mean Green went on an 11-1 run behind Ben Knox's four points in the paint and Jacob Holmen's long-range shooting.

Boise State battled back and retook the lead at the halftime buzzer on a 3-pointer by Paul Noonan.

In the second half, North Texas slowly built a 58-53 lead before Arnold took over.

Anthony Thomas, mired in a two-game scoreless slump, hit a 3-pointer with 6:20 remaining to give Boise State its first lead since early in the second half. Then Arnold helped Boise State pull away, hitting a 3-pointer and adding a layup in consecutive possessions to key a 17-4 run.

North Texas edged within 76-73 with 27 seconds remaining on a 3-pointer by Holmen. But Arnold's emphatic dunk with 15 seconds left sealed the victory for Boise State.

It was the first meeting between the schools in 10 seasons. Boise State leads the series 8-1.