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No. 25 Boise State drops Air Force to reach MWC SFs

Mar 13, 2015 - 2:21 AM Las Vegas, NV ( - Nick Duncan scored 23 points to lift No. 25 Boise State to an 80-68 victory over Air Force in a Mountain West Tournament quarterfinal game on Thursday.

Derrick Marks finished with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists and Igor Hadziomerovic and Rob Heyer each netted 11 for the top-seeded Broncos (25-7), who will face fourth-seeded Wyoming in the semifinals on Friday.

"I like to shoot against them, our offense suits playing against Air Force as well," said Duncan. "It's my teammates, as well, finding me when I'm open. So credit to my teammates for finding me."

Marek Olesinski led the ninth-seeded Falcons (14-17) with 14 points, while Zach Kocur and Hayden Graham provided 13 points apiece in the loss.

"So proud of our guys," Air Force head coach Dave Pilpovich said. "Our effort. We struggled at times early, but fought through, finished the half down four."

Consecutive triples from James Web III and Duncan highlighted a 13-2 Boise State burst to start the second half, making it a 45-30 game.

Olesinski hit back-to-back shots from beyond to whittle the deficit to eight points moments later, but Duncan followed suit to give the Broncos a 12-point edge.

After a Justin Hammonds jumper made it a five-point game with 5:29 to play, Marks and Hadziomerovic scored seven and six points, respectively, during a 13-2 run to seal the outcome.

In the first half, Duncan drained a 3-pointer and Webb knocked down two foul shots to give the Broncos a 17-8 lead, but a 9-2 Falcons spurt cut the deficit to just two points.

Mikey Thompson's pair of free throws with three seconds left gave Boise State a 32-28 edge at halftime.

Game Notes

Boise State swept Air Force during the regular season and owns a 7-3 edge in the all-time series ... The Broncos have won their last seven games and 15 of their last 16 ... The Falcons outrebounded the Broncos 26-23.