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Boise State wraps up non-conference slate against UC Davis

The Broncos are back at Taco Bell Arena after a 10 day vacation and will look to knock off upset-minded UC Davis.

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday night will be a matchup of two teams that are heading in different directions. UC Davis, with already as many losses as all of last season, has dropped its previous five games. Boise State has gathered momentum thanks to a five-game winning streak, including a win over Oregon. Leon Rice hopes that the Broncos can maintain the level of play that was on full display in Boise State's last game, a convincing 90-70 victory against Bradley.

Game Info

Matchup - UC Davis Aggies @ Boise State Broncos in Boise, Idaho, 9:00 PM Eastern, Taco Bell Arena
Radio/TV/Stream - Radio: 670 AM KBOI, TV: none, Stream:
Vegas - Boise State 16.5-point favorites according to OddsShark
Win/Loss Records - UC Davis 4-7, Boise State 8-4
KenPom Rankings - UC Davis 261st, Boise State 75th
Head Coaches - UC Davis: Jim Les (fifth season with school, 211-219 career record, one career NCAA appearance)
Boise State: Leon Rice (sixth season with school, 110-67 career record, two NCAA appearances)

Projected Starting Lineups

UC Davis Aggies

G) Darius Graham, Jr., 9.6 PPG
G) Siler Schneider, Fr., 9.5 PPG, G) Brynton Lemar, Jr., 11.2 PPG
F) Josh Fox, Sr., 12.6 PPG, C) Neal Monson, Jr., 8.7 PPG

Boise State Broncos

G) Mikey Thompson, Sr., 10.7 PPG
G) Lonnie Jackson, Sr., 7.3 PPG, G) Anthony Drmic, Sr., 14.5 PPG
F) James Webb III, Jr., 14.8 PPG, F) Nick Duncan, Jr., 12.1 PPG

Keys To Victory

UC Davis: Bench production

UC Davis is a heavy underdog Wednesday night for a reason: they have a tough time scoring the basketball. The Aggies rank 258th in the country in points per game and have averaged 61.6 in a current five-game losing streak. UC Davis will need to score at least 70 to have a chance to upset Boise State, and that number will not be reached if the bench does not provide a spark. Josh Fox (12.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG) and Brynton Lemar (11.2 PPG) lead the Aggies on offense, but a recent lineup shuffle by head coach Jim Les may have scrambled the identity of the team. For UC Davis to get off the schneid, guys like Neal Monson (8.7 PPG), Lawrence White (5.7 PPG), and Georgi Funtarov (2.0 PPG in four games).

Boise State: Maintain defensive intensity

The Broncos have manufactured a lengthy winning streak through December by increasing the effort on the defensive side of the court. This intensity was on display in Boise State's previous game against Bradley, as James Webb and Nick Duncan combined for six steals, leading to easy transition buckets. The Broncos could use a few steals or blocks Wednesday night to create a smooth transition into the fast-break offense, which BSU has improved in its last few games.

What To Expect

Coach Leon Rice and Boise State are hoping to cruise nicely into the new year and the 2016 conference season with a victory Wednesday night over a slumping UC Davis squad. The Aggies have a few talented pieces on the team, and a coach who has experience and has a history of big upsets (Jim Les' Bradley Braves upset Kansas and Pittsburgh in the 2006 NCAA Tournament) but UC Davis might not have enough firepower to pull off the victory over surging Boise State.

There might be a few times in Wednesday night's game that Boise State looks sluggish, as the Broncos have played only two halves of basketball in the last 17 days. However, if BSU continues its defensive pressure and energy the Broncos should pick up its sixth win in as many games.