It is a new year, but the 2015 Boise State Broncos are alive and well.
There is a common trend beginning to form for this Broncos squad; grab an early lead, let the opposing team climb back, and then close out the game in the final seconds.
For reference, wins over UC Irvine, Portland, Loyola Marymount, and Oregon follow the same narrative.
James Webb fell short of setting a new career-high, but his 28 points helped Boise State tame a hot-shooting Rams team in the second half. Anthony Drmic had 21 points and four 3s, and Mikey Thompson nearly had a double-double with 18 points and nine assists. Thompson also snatched six rebounds and three steals for Boise State as the Broncos improve to 10-4 with a 84-80 win Saturday night.
Antwan Scott paced the Rams with 24 points and Joe De Ciman tallied 22. The seniors also had four triples apiece.
It was the seventh consecutive victory for the surging Broncos. The defensive pressure is at an all-time high. In the early going, James Webb made a nice steal on CSU guard John Gillon and flushed home a tomahawk jam.
With about 13 minutes left in the first half, Webb had a highlight swat which he saved from going out of bounds. In transition, Paris Austin couldn't hit a short jumper in the paint but Zach Haney was there for the tip-in. This ten-second span was a perfect microcosm of Boise State's efforts in its lengthy winning streak.
Boise State raced out to a quick 20-9 lead before the second TV timeout and led by as many as 16 in the first half. The Broncos had a comfortable 42-28 advantage at the end of 20 minutes.
The Gian Clavell-less Rams came out firing in the second half, however. CSU knocked down seven of its first 10 shot attempts and closed within five with just over 10 minutes left in the game.
The remainder of the game was closely contested.
Jeremiah Paige's two-handed dunk pulled Colorado State within two with 38 seconds remaining, but the Broncos were able to answer.
A wild scurry in the paint on Boise State's following possession ended up with Mikey Thompson initially missing a short jumper, fighting for a rebound, and knocking down a quick tear drop to push the lead back to four. After CSU converted a jump shot, Anthony Drmic drained two free throws to seal the deal for the Broncos.
It wasn't a pretty finish for Boise State, but Leon Rice and his squad will take every conference win they can get.
Next up for BSU is a road test against Utah State Tuesday night. It will be Boise State's first away game in 30 days.