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Sanchez, Boise State end Utah State's win streak at 19

Feb 15, 2009 - 8:02 AM BOISE, Idaho (Ticker) -- Mark Sanchez and Boise State ended the longest winning streak in the nation.

Sanchez scored 20 points and Anthony Thomas added 18 as the Broncos snapped 17th-ranked Utah State's 19-game run Saturday with a 66-56 victory.

Ike Okoye chipped in nine points and grabbed seven rebounds for Boise State (17-7, 7-4 WAC), which has won five of its last seven contests since suffering a 79-65 loss to Utah State on January 17.

Gary Wilkinson and Jared Quayle finished with 12 points apiece and Pooh Williams added 10 for the Aggies (24-2, 12-1), who had already clinched a share of the conference title.

"We got totally outplayed," Utah State coach Stew Morrill told the Salt Lake Tribune. "They outhustled us, they outexecuted us and outdefended us."

The key for the Broncos was containing Tai Wesley, who had a quality all-around performance in their previous meeting with a season-high 26 points, eight rebounds, five steals and four assists.

The sophomore forward was held to seven points on 1-of-6 shooting with five turnovers in this one.

"The bottom line, we wanted it easy and weren't willing to work for it," Wesley said. "They were the team with the answers tonight. It was a different feeling tonight. We had to press and try to pressure and get turnovers. This was a feeling we hadn't felt for a long time."

After taking a 27-25 advantage into the break, Boise State broke the game open early in the second half. Sanchez made a layup and Thomas knocked down a pair of 3-pointers as the Broncos started the half on an 8-1 run.

"We knew it was going to be the first four minutes of the second half," Sanchez said. "(Thomas) hits a couple of threes that were big for us. We did a great job on defense and held them to a low percentage."

Sanchez connected on a jumper with 14:08 remaining to give Boise State its largest lead at 41-29.

Utah State, which shot just 37 percent (19-of-52) from the field, managed to cut the deficit to 43-39 with 9:54 to play on Jaxon Myaer's jump shot. But the Aggies could not get any closer, suffering their first loss since January 6 against Brigham Young.

"We had a loss and it feels terrible," USU guard Tyler Newbold said. "Before that we won 19 in a row and were having a good year. It shows the character of a team after a bad loss. It begins in practice."

Paul Noonan, who finished with nine points, made four free throws in the final 62 seconds to seal the win for Boise State.