The coach’s son.
Actually, scratch that. He was in no one’s shadow on Tuesday night.
This was the Max Rice game.
Key Teams Stats of the Night
Field Goal Percentage
Boise State - 52.7%
Nevada - 44.2%
Boise State - 50.0%
Nevada - 36.8%
Boise State - 8
Nevada - 15
Max Rice (BSU) - 29 points (Tied a career high)
Jarod Lucas (NEV) - 15 points
Naje Smith (BSU) - 8 rebounds
Darrion Williams (NEV) - 10 rebounds
Marcus Shaver Jr. (BSU) - 5 assists
Darrion Williams and Nick Davidson (NEV) - 2 assists
Story of the Game
From the get-go, Max Rice had a pep in his step that immediately showed. Rice scored Boise State’s first eight points of the game. Both teams found a rhythm early on as neither team gained a significant edge.
After the clock fell below four minutes, the Broncos went on a quick 9-2 run to extend their lead from two to seven. Boise State would take a six-point lead into the break.
Out of halftime, the Wolf Pack sent a message as they trimmed the deficit to two before the 17-minute mark. However, the Broncos have a tendency of responding well to adversity, and Nevada learned that soon after.
A 17-2 run, in fact.
With that, Boise State had blown the game wide open with a 17-point gap facing Nevada as time trickled down. Steve Alford’s squad wasn’t able to mount any type of comeback and the Broncos had once again made a statement to the rest of the league that they were not going away anytime soon.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS (15-4, 5-1) 77
NEVADA WOLF PACK (15-5, 5-2) 62
BOISE STATE (15-4, 5-1) AT NEW MEXICO (17-2, 4-2)
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico (The Pit)
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 20th at 9:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Traditional Television: Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
Streaming: Fox Sports app
Radio: KBOI 670 AM
Head-to-Head: Boise State trails the series 9-12, but has won the last four meetings. It should be noted that three of those games occurred outside of The Pit. The Lobos last beat the Broncos back in 2019 in Albuquerque, 80-78.
Keys to Watch
1. Can Boise State slow down the dynamic duo of Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House?
- The Lobo offense runs through these two and if they start to get hot from deep, then it will be a long night for the Broncos.
2. Who will take the responsibility of guarding New Mexico big man Morris Udeze?
- Udeze, a Wichita State transfer, is a physical freak that can be a difficult assignment for whoever guards him. While Lukas Milner may get some added minutes, it seems likely that the combined effort of Naje Smith and Tyson Degenhart will be crucial.
3. Can Leon Rice keep his guys in the moment and not get lost in the power of The Pit?
- Despite recent years of mediocrity, Lobo basketball is back and thriving once again. It is one of the toughest environments in college basketball and it is expected that roughly 14,000 fans will be in attendance.
Stat Leaders (Averages)
Boise State: Forward Tyson Degenhart - 13.6 Pts.
New Mexico: Guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. - 18.3 Pts.
Boise State: Guard Marcus Shaver Jr. - 6.4 Reb.
New Mexico: Forward Morris Udeze - 8.6 Reb.
Boise State: Guard Marcus Shaver Jr. - 4.4 Ast.
New Mexico: Guard Jaelen House - 4.6 Ast.
Via our friends at DraftKings, New Mexico is currently favored by 3 points and the total is set at 146.
Perhaps I’m falling into the trap of overemphasizing momentum, but the progress that this Boise State team has made since November can’t go unnoticed. Winning by double digits in each of their last four games is a remarkable feat considering the depth of the Mountain West this year. After a brief two-game slide against Fresno State and UNLV, New Mexico is now on a three-game win streak that includes an impressive victory against San Diego State at Viejas Arena.
A battle of two heavyweights.
Give me the Broncos.
Boise State 86 - New Mexico 84
What are your thoughts on the Broncos’ performance against Nevada?
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