A tense night full of angst and fire proved fruitful for the Broncos as they thoroughly whooped Utah State.
It didn’t hurt that the Aggies had one of their worst shooting nights this season.
Key Teams Stats of the Night
Field Goal Percentage
Boise State - 50.0%
Utah State - 39.7%
Boise State - 57.9%
Utah State - 33.3%
Boise State - 41
Utah State - 29
Tyson Degenhart (BSU) - 19 points
Taylor Funk (USU) - 14 points
Tyson Degenhart (BSU) - 10 rebounds
Max Shulga (USU) - 6 rebounds
Max Rice and Marcus Shaver Jr. (BSU) - 5 assists
Steven Ashworth (USU) - 4 assists
Story of the Game
In a highly anticipated battle of two conference contenders, only one team showed up. After the opening minutes passed, Boise State took the lead with 16:58 to go in the first half.
They would never relinquish the lead.
The game remained competitive until the Aggies were caught on a scoring drought with 11 minutes to go until halftime. At that point, the Broncos began to extend the gap and by the seven-minute mark, the lead had ballooned to 13. Utah State was not able to mount a counter attack as Max Rice capped off a terrific offensive 20 minutes of play with a three-pointer in the final seconds. The biggest storyline to emerge from the opening half was that Aggie Dan Akin had made himself the villain of the night after some bickering with the officials and select words being exchanged with Max Rice and Chibuzo Agbo.
The Broncos’ tremendous offensive efficiency didn’t dim as they piled onto their lead in the first eight minutes of the second half. The Aggies did show a brief moment of life when Taylor Funk and Max Shulga began to shoot from beyond the arc, cashing in on a handful of three-pointers. It was futile, however, as the crowd of 12,007 propelled Boise State to closing out the game with ease. It should be noted that those in attendance were a part of the 9th-highest attended Boise State game in the program’s history.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS (12-4, 2-1) 82
UTAH STATE AGGIES (14-3, 3-1) 59
BOISE STATE (12-4, 2-1) VS UNLV (12-3, 1-2)
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada (Thomas & Mack Center)
Date/Time: Wednesday, January 11th at 9:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Traditional Television: CBS Sports Network (CBSSN)
Streaming: CBS Sports app
Radio: KBOI 670 AM
Head-to-Head: Boise State leads the series 15-10 and swept the Runnin’ Rebels in their two meetings during 2022. The last time UNLV came out victorious was back in 2020.
Keys to Watch
1. Can Boise State avoid committing unnecessary turnovers?
- UNLV is a top-ten team in forcing turnovers according to turnover percentage (2nd), steal percentage (8th), and non-steal turnover percentage (2nd).
2. Will Boise State keep Rebel EJ Harkless under wraps?
- Harkless is the spark plug for UNLV, and if starts getting hot from three like he did against New Mexico, it will be a long night for the Broncos.
3. Can Boise State replicate their shooting marksmanship?
- Other than their warmup up match against Eastern Oregon, the Broncos’ efficiency against Utah State was their best of the season when accounting for field goal percentage and three-point percentage.
Stat Leaders (Averages)
Boise State: Guard Marcus Shaver Jr. - 14.5 Pts.
UNLV: Guard EJ Harkless - 16.6 Pts.
Boise State: Guard Marcus Shaver Jr. - 6.8 Reb.
UNLV: Guard Luis Rodriguez - 5.9 Reb.
Boise State: Guard Marcus Shaver Jr. - 3.8 Ast.
UNLV: Guard Keshon Gilbert - 3.8 Ast.
Via our friends at DraftKings, UNLV is currently favored by 1.5 points and the total is set at 136.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.
Both teams are coming off of season-boosting wins (UNLV at New Mexico and Boise State vs Utah State). The Broncos have not been fazed in recent memory when playing in the Thomas & Mack Center, including during the Mountain West conference tournament in 2022. The offensive unity that Boise State played with this past Saturday bodes well moving forward.
The Broncos rely on Tyson Degenhart’s cool presence to notch another key conference victory before heading to Laramie for a late Saturday showdown with Wyoming.
Boise State 78 - UNLV 73
What are your thoughts on the Broncos’ performance against Utah State?
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