In a highly anticipated matchup of March Madness hopefuls, we got an absolute blockbuster that certainly didn’t disappoint.
Night in and night out, the Mountain West is one of the most exciting conferences in the nation.
Key Teams Stats of the Night
Free Throw Percentage
Boise State - 75.0%
New Mexico - 64.3%
Boise State - 20.8%
New Mexico - 46.2%
Boise State - 18
New Mexico - 12
Tyson Degenhart (BSU) - 28 points
Jamal Mashburn Jr. (UNM) - 25 points
Naje Smith (BSU) - 13 rebounds
Josiah Allick (UNM) - 18 rebounds
Marcus Shaver Jr. (BSU) - 4 assists
Jaelen House (UNM) - 4 assists
Story of the Game
Lobo guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. jumpstarted the New Mexico crowd with multiple mid-range pullups to start the action. Boise State’s Tyson Degenhart and Max Rice counterpunched with some nifty footwork in the paint and some rather creative shots.
Neither team could maintain a string of stops as they both traded the lead numerous times. The game remained within four points throughout a large majority of the first half. However, some Marcus Shaver Jr. magic propelled the Broncos a six-point lead at intermission, 37-31.
The backcourt duo of Jaelen House and Mashburn Jr. has been regarded as one of the best in the country this season. In the beginning stages of the second half, they began to take over. Seven points in the opening minutes combined with Morris Udeze’s presence in the paint brought the Lobos pack to within one possession. As 12 minutes showed on the clock, the Broncos once again managed to create some semblance of breathing room up six.
The Pit is a very powerful energizer.
Richard Pitino’s squad mounted an immediate 11-2 run that pushed them ahead with less than ten minutes to go. The Lobos protected their two possession lead as the clock continued to dwindle in Albuquerque.
The last three minutes of regulation were Oscar-worthy.
Degenhart drilled a three to shrink the deficit two.
Kobe Young, a young piece off the bench, shot a three-pointer moving from left to right at the top of the arc.
He banked it in.
With less than 60 seconds left, Degenhart came up with a huge block that led to a Naje Smith layup, cutting the Lobo lead to one. After intentionally fouling House, a missed front-end free throw gave Boise State a chance to take the lead with four seconds left.
“Deggie” was feeling it, but he rushed the layup. Mashburn Jr. was fouled and he converted on both of his free throws.
New Mexico 72 - Boise State 69
With one timeout, Leon Rice called for a football pass to over half court before using that very timeout. Assistant coach Tim Duryea drew up play designed for Degenhart instead of Shaver Jr. or Rice.
It worked to perfection.
Overtime in The Duke City.
Boise State backup big man Mohammed Sylla had some great minutes throughout regulation, but a quick foul and turnover put the Broncos in a hole early. New Mexico freshman Donovan Dent took ahold of the Lobo offense, making confident decisions and getting to the basket with force.
Somehow, despite being down five for a majority of overtime, the Broncos created another chance to tie the game with less than 30 seconds. Degenhart once again took the wheel as he drove into the lane, converting the layup with a foul call on New Mexico.
All knotted up at 79.
The Lobos held for the last shot, but after some stagnant offense, Pitino called his last timeout to draw up a potential game-winner.
Pitino trusted the young Dent to inbound from the baseline as Mashburn Jr. scurried his way to the near corner. Bronco Chibuzo Agbo smothered Mashburn Jr., but in the chaos, Lobo Morris Udeze found open space in the restricted area. Dent delivered a perfectly-timed bounce pass that eluded Naje Smith’s attempted deflection. Udeze went up strong and made the soft two-foot lay-in.
Marcus Shaver Jr. got a shot off before the buzzer sounded, but it only punished the backboard as 14,556 fans erupted with glee.
BOISE STATE BRONCOS (15-5, 5-2) 79
NEW MEXICO LOBOS (18-2, 5-2) 81
BOISE STATE (15-5, 5-2) VS FRESNO STATE (7-11, 3-4)
Location: Boise, Idaho (ExtraMile Arena)
Date/Time: Tuesday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Traditional Television: Fox Sports 1 (FS1)
Streaming: Fox Sports app
Radio: KBOI 670 AM
Head-to-Head: Boise State narrowly leads the all-time series, 26-22. The Broncos won their only meeting with the Bulldogs in 2022 via overtime, thanks to the clutch ability of Marcus Shaver Jr. and offensive guru Tim Duryea.
Keys to Watch
1. Will Boise State bounce back after a heart-wrenching loss to New Mexico?
- Despite poor outside shooting in Albuquerque, the Broncos were tantalizingly close to silencing a raucous Lobo crowd and notching an impressive win at The Pit. It is never easy to compartmentalize something like that and move on.
- 2. Can the Broncos limit Bulldog guard Isaiah Hill?
In Fresno State’s two biggest wins so far in Mountain West play (New Mexico and UNLV), Hill has lit up the scoreboard, averaging 21 points in those two contests.
3. Will Chibuzo Agbo find his comfortability within this offense?
- In the five games that the Broncos have lost this year, Agbo is averaging 7.6 points per game. In their wins, Agbo has been averaging 13.1 points per game.
Stat Leaders (Averages)
Boise State: Forward Tyson Degenhart - 14.4 Pts.
Fresno State: Forward Isaih Moore - 12.1 Pts.
Boise State: Guard Marcus Shaver Jr. - 6.5 Reb.
Fresno State: Forward Isaih Moore - 7.9 Reb.
Boise State: Guard Marcus Shaver Jr. - 4.4 Ast.
Fresno State: Guard Isaiah Hill - 3.3 Ast.
Via our friends at DraftKings, Boise State is currently favored by 12 points and the total is set at 127.
I see this as a bounce-back game for Boise State thanks in part to returning to ExtraMile Arena. Tonight’s matchup is the first of a three-game stretch that isn’t “easy”, but doesn’t involve the top of the Mountain West (San Diego State, New Mexico, Nevada and Utah State). This game will be followed by a home date against Colorado State and a trip to Colorado Springs to take on Air Force. The Broncos start this stretch off with a win.
Boise State 73 - Fresno State 55
What are your thoughts on the Broncos’ performance against New Mexico?
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