Just over 7,100 fans were in Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho Tuesday night to cheer on the Boise State Broncos (7-0) men's team and enjoy a 69-67 thriller over the Utah Utes (6-1). Both teams came into the game undefeated, and the loss for Utah was also their first trip on the road this season. In their last meeting in December, 2012, the Utes were home in Salt Lake City and put away the Broncos 76-55, but on this night, head coach Leon Rice and his Broncos were able to turn the tables.
But win didn’t come easily. The Broncos came into the game leading the nation in scoring, averaging 97.7 points per game. The Utes were not far behind at 6th with 90.7 points per game and starting 6-0 for the first time in 15 seasons. It immediately got down to great defensive efforts by both teams and neither gained a significant advantage. While Boise State lead for most the game, the Utes were never far behind. Only in the last three minutes of the first half did the Broncos go up by 7, leading 32-25.
The Broncos were up by 8 points early in the second half when Utah had a run that rolled up 8 points of their own to tie it, 37-37. That Ute run came courtesy of F Jordan Loveridge, 6-6, 218 lbs, who gave the Broncos nothing but grief all night with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, and a steal. Right after the tie the Utes pulled ahead and that’s when things got serious. Going down the stretch neither team was ever out of it and no more than 4 points separated either team. The game was tied 63-63 with 2:46 remaining and it seesawed back and forth until the final 55 seconds of play where the Broncos were able to hold onto the lead for the victory.
Junior G Derrick Marks, 6-3, 206 lbs, was the Broncos’ biggest playmaker. He racked up 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. Bronco star Anthony Drmic, 6-6, 196 lbs, only had 3 points at the half, but he made up for it in the second half by dropping another 11 through the hoop, giving him 14 points on the night. Sophomore G Mikey Thompson, 6-3, 167 lbs, accounted for 13 points.
The win puts the Broncos in uncharted territory with their first 7-0 start in school history.
Next up for Boise State: Carroll College, in Taco Bell Arena, Thursday, December 5, 8:00 PM MT.