- Associated Press - Thursday, February 6, 2014

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Boise State is no stranger to heartbreak when it comes to San Diego State.

Wednesday night’s 67-65 loss to the fifth-ranked Aztecs hurt a lot more than recent losses.

The Broncos squandered a 14-point lead in the second half and lost at home to a team that has a history of pulling out close games in the rivalry. The past six games in the series have been decided by six points or fewer, with the Aztecs winning five of them. Two of those losses came in the Mountain West Conference tournament.

And on the heels of failing to hold a double-digit lead in the final minutes at UNLV, Broncos coach Leon Rice put his heart on his sleeve in his postgame news conference.

“I just feel awful for these guys right now,” Rice said. “They are giving everything they have. We just haven’t finished.”

San Diego State coach Steve Fisher was sympathetic toward the Broncos (15-8, 5-5 Mountain West).

“I told Leon, ‘I feel for you and there a lot of ways you can say you deserved to win,’” Fisher said, saying that his team shooting 13 of 19 from the field in the second half and doing a better of rebounding were the keys to the comeback.

“We just didn’t finish the game,” Boise State guard Derrick Marks said.

San Diego State (20-1, 9-0) finished its comeback in thrilling fashion. Trailing 65-64 in the closing seconds, point guard Xavier Thames found Dwayne Polee who hit a 3-pointer with 4 seconds left to cap the improbable comeback.

“It was like the Red Sea parted,” Polee said. “I wasn’t surprised. X is a real unselfish player, and if there was one person open, he was going to find them.”

Thames finished with 23 points for San Diego State (20-1, 9-0 Mountain West), but it was his steal at midcourt in the final minute and his second assist of the game that saved the Aztecs, who trailed by 14 points in the second half.

“What can you say about Xavier Thames?” Fisher asked. “You can’t tell me that he’s not playing as well as anyone in America right now.”

Thames said he was very close to taking a shot that would have tied the score. But at the very last second, he changed his mind.

“I had a pretty decent look, but I saw DP out of the corner of my eye,” Thames said. “I was going to shoot a floater but (Ryan) Watkins was going to contest it. Then I saw (Anthony) Drmic sink down. It was on the tip of my fingers (to shoot). It was pretty close.”

Close is the typical result when the Aztecs and Broncos (15-8, 5-5) play. The past six meetings between the schools have been decided by six or fewer points. San Diego State eliminated Boise State from the past two conference tournaments and won 69-66 last month in San Diego.

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