Colorado State's bench reacts after a missed shot during the final moments of the second half of a Mountain West Conference tournament NCAA college basketball game against Utah State Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Las Vegas. (Isaac Brekken, The Associated Press)
LAS VEGAS—Spencer Butterfield's 3-pointer and subsequent go-ahead free throws, after a Colorado State technical foul, keyed Utah State's 73-69 comeback victory over the Rams in the first round of the Mountain West Conference tournament on Wednesday.
Trailing 66-57 with 1:35 left, Utah State scored the next 12 points to start a 16-3 run to close the game.
Jalen Moore's 3-pointer pulled Utah State within 66-62 and his steal set up Butterfield's trey. Colorado State's Daniel Bejarano was called for a technical foul and Butterfield made both free throws for a 67-66 lead. Moore and Butterfield combined to make the next six-free throw attempts.
Preston Medlin led eighth-seeded Utah State (18-13) with 17 points.
Utah State's Kyle Davis shoots over Colorado State's Marcus Holt during the second half of a Mountain West Conference tournament NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, March 12, 2014, in Las Vegas. (Isaac Brekken, The Associated Press)
Butterfield and TeNale Roland had 14 each.
Dwight Smith scored a career-high 21 points for Colorado State (16-16) and Jon Octeus added 19 for the No. 9 seed.
Utah State will face top-seeded San Diego State Thursday.