After falling in the season-opener to South Dakota State, the Broncos learned from that result and looked much better in their win Saturday night.
Against a top-70 Kenpom team, winning by double digits is no small feat and the way in which they did it seems familiar.
Key Team Stats of the Night
Boise State - 12
Washington State - 3
Boise State - 8
Washington State - 15
Field Goal Percentage
Boise State - 44.8%
Washington State - 34.9%
Marcus Shaver Jr. and Max Rice (BSU) - 15 points
TJ Bamba (WSU) - 24 points
Marcus Shaver Jr. (BSU) - 10 rebounds
DJ Rodman (WSU) - 14 rebounds
Marcus Shaver Jr. (BSU) - 5 assists
Mouhamed Gueye, DJ Rodman and Carlos Rosario (WSU) - 1 assist
Story of the Game
Similar to their opener, Boise State started out very sluggish on offense, not scoring a point until the 16:14 mark via free throws. Neither team reached double digits until midway through the first half. Boise State’s defense kept them in the game, allowing the offense to find their rhythm by forcing turnovers and skying for some highlight reel alley-oops. As the end of the first half approached, Leon Rice’s squad propelled themselves to a healthy lead by going on a 9-2 run.
At intermission, the Broncos had overcome a poor start and now led 29-22.
The Cougars managed to narrow the gap with a fast start in the second half. From then, a back-and-forth ensued with mini runs being traded. By the time the under-eight media timeout occurred, Marcus Shaver Jr. had just put Boise State back in lead 50-48. Lukas Milner made quite an impact from that point on, scoring six points that extended the lead to eight. However, Washington State had one last run in them, and within two minutes, that eight-point lead had shrunk down to two with four minutes remaining.
Then, on cue, Tyson Degenhart made his cameo.
An and-one energized Idaho Central Arena and gave the Broncos the juice to finish the job.
Great defense in the final 120 seconds allowed Boise State to clinch the win at the free throw line.
Boise State Broncos (1-1) 71
Washington State Cougars (1-1) 61
This was a big-time win as they head to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
Boise State (81) will compete alongside Charlotte (154), Loyola-Chicago (70), Tulsa (162), Colorado (61), UMass (158), Murray State (137) and Texas A&M (31). The number by each school indicates their KenPom ranking as of today. Since these are all neutral site games, any opponent inside the top 50 would be considered a quad one win or loss. A quad two opponent for a neutral site game is someone between 51-100 and a quad three opponent in a neutral site is 101-200. Of course, these rankings fluctuate throughout the season, but it gives a baseline in regards to how good these teams are.
On Thursday, Boise State will play Charlotte in the quarterfinals at 5:00 p.m. Mountain time on ESPN News (streaming on the ESPN app as well).
A preview will be posted Thursday.
What are your thoughts on the Boise State - Washington State result?
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