Jamaal Franklin made sure the San Diego St. Aztecs lived to fight another day. The sophomore guard hit a 3-pointer just ahead of the final horn to give the Aztecs a 65-62 victory over the Boise St. Broncos in the Mountain West Conference Tournament quarterfinals on Thursday. The No. 1-seeded Aztecs would have needed some good fortune to make the NCAA Tournament if they had bowed out to the Broncos, who were the MWC's worst team this season.
As it is, the Aztecs (ranked No. 18 in the Associated Press poll) improved to 25-6 overall. They will now face the winner of the quarterfinal matchup between the Colorado St. Rams and the TCU Horned Frogs.
The game against the Broncos did not exactly go as planned for coach Steve Fisher's Aztecs. Boise St. actually led 32-30 at halftime. But the Aztecs stormed back and eventually grabbed an eight-point lead in the final three minutes. The Broncos worked their way back and eventually tied it at 62-62 on a Thomas Bropleh layup.
That set up Franklin's heroics. The MWC Player of the Year set himself up to take the final shot of regulation, hitting a 3-pointer over Bropleh's outstretched arms to win it for San Diego St. Franklin finished the game with 19 points.