After a tough loss to Wyoming on Thursday, Boise State needed to regroup and do so quickly. The Spartans would give the Broncos an opportunity to find their footing once again and regain momentum heading into the thick of February. A crowd of over 10,000 packed ExtraMile Arena and witnessed the Broncos win 76-60, allowing them to maintain sole possession of first place in the Mountain West standings.
Before the game started, it was evident that Emmanuel Akot would not suit up as he is resting a sore knee. Boise State started off shaky as they committed three turnovers in the first four minutes of the game. The tumultuous beginning soon subsided as the Broncos would extend their lead by as much as 16 in the first half. Tyson Degenhart, who claimed his sixth Mountain West Freshman of the Week award Monday, led the way with 16 points in the half. Pavle Kuzmanovic played a larger role with Akot out and nailed two threes on back-to-back possessions. The Broncos went into halftime leading the Spartans 40-26.
Boise State wasted no time at the start of the second half, going on a 10-0 run before the Spartans could score a point. San Jose State’s Myron Amey Jr. attempted to keep the Spartans within striking distance by getting hot from the perimeter. This was to no avail as the Broncos piled on to their lead, going up by 29 at one point. Boise State made sure to shut the door and lock it on the way out, showing the Bronco faithful that a calm ending to a men’s basketball game is indeed possible.
Looking at the box score, Marcus Amey Jr. was the only reason that San Jose State covered the spread of 21. Off the bench, Amey Jr. scored 24 points and went five of eight from downtown. The only other Spartan to reach double-digits was Tibet Gorener, contributing 10 points.
As for Boise State, true freshman Tyson Degenhart set a career-high in points at 23. He also went three of five from beyond the arc, firing up the crowd throughout the game. Abu Kigab compiled a double-double, scoring 18 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. The other Bronco to reach the teens was Marcus Shaver Jr., who made two threes while going for 14 points. Mladen Armus wasn’t able to find a way out of his funk and only played 20 minutes. A key improvement for the Broncos over the last five games has been free throws, evidenced by their 14 for 16 effort against the Spartans.
San Jose State’s quest for their first conference win will continue to be difficult as they navigate the Mountain West. They will play San Diego State on Wednesday, February 9, and Wyoming on Saturday, February 12.
Boise State has multiple days of rest this week before welcoming UNLV on Friday and Colorado State on Super Bowl Sunday. The game on Sunday may boost the chances of the winner being ranked next week, barring any upsets.
Boise State will take on UNLV on Friday, February 11 in Boise. The game is slated for 9:00 MST (8:00 PST) and will be televised on Fox Sports 1 (FS1).