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Boise State vs. Northern Arizona: Broncos cruise, 101-81

The Broncos explode in the second half to earn its first win on the season.

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Anthony Drmic and James Webb III tallied 22 points apiece in Boise State's convincing home victory against Northern Arizona.

The Broncos picked up its first win on the season, playing a more complete game Monday night than in its opener against Montana, a 74-71 defeat.

Back and forth scoring was the theme in the first half. NAU and Boise State shared an up-tempo pace and continued to knock down shot after shot. At halftime, the Broncos were holding on to a 47-44 lead. The 47 points by Boise State was the most scored in the first half by the Broncos since unloading for 48 in 2014 against San Jose State.

An interesting development in the first half was freshman David Wacker checking in and entering the game, which ended the possibility of redshirting this season. It had been rumored that 6-10 Texan may redshirt before the season started, but it appears that coach Leon Rice has found a role for Wacker.

Anthony Drmic led the Broncos to the intermission with 17 points on 3-5 shooting from downtown. NAU's star Kris Yanku started slow, but made the last six points of the half for the Lumberjacks. Jaleni Neely, who scored 13 in the opener against Washington State, had 12 points at the break for Northern Arizona.

Boise State unleashed its scoring prowess early and often in the second half. A three pointer by James Webb III with 12:40 left in the second half increased BSU's lead to 13 points.

The Broncos did not look back.

Another three pointer, courtesy of Zach Haney, gave Boise a 25-point lead with just over nine minutes remaining, the largest lead of the game. Boise State boasted an impressive 8-14 three-point shooting stroke in the second period. Anthony Drmic had the hot hand Monday night. He hit four of BSU's 13 threes and did not refrain from posing and watching the nylon ripple on a couple of his deep bombs.

The key to a Boise State victory was to manage foul trouble and win the free throw battle. The Broncos were able to do just that.

In the season opener at Montana, free throws and fouls completely derailed the visiting Broncos.

Montana attempted 36 free throws, giving the Grizzlies an additonal 25 points, while Boise State only went 8-12 at the line.

Tonight was a different story.

NAU guard Kris Yanku led the NCAA in free throw attempts last season but the Broncos were able to limit the junior to only four foul shots Monday night. Boise State was able to keep its fouls under control throughout the game, committing six fewer fouls and shooting 11 more free throws than Northern Arizona.

The unheralded performance of the night was Chandler Hutchison's double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds. Given the role as the utility man on the Bronco roster, Hutchison is expected to provide assistance on both ends of the court. The sophomore tied James Webb as the leading Boise rebounder Monday night, and was one of five Broncos that scored double-digit points.

Hefty contributions from Hutchison, Drmic, Webb and Thompson helped Boise roll to its first victory of the season.

A must-win in the middle of November is a bit of a stretch, but an 0-2 start to a team with tournament aspirations would have been costly. However, Leon Rice's squad leaned on fantastic three-point shooting and was able to close out an offensively-gifted Northern Arizona group.

The Broncos must now prepare for potentially the toughest matchup of the season, traveling to hostile McKale Center to battle 12th-ranked Arizona. Tonight's win will boost the confidence of the group that was disappointing in the opener against Montana, but the Wildcats will be a major test for Boise State.