Veterans Lead Broncos to Victory
Jan. 2, 2016
BOISE, Idaho - The Boise State men's basketball team (10-4, 1-0) jumped to a 9-2 lead and never trailed, scoring 29 points off of 16 turnovers, en route to an 84-80 win over Colorado State (8-6, 0-1) in the Mountain West conference opener at Taco Bell Arena.
The win was the 16th consecutive home win for Boise State, the longest streak in the Leon Rice era.
"They're a team that's never going to quit a battle," Boise State head coach Leon Rice said of the Rams. "We knew they would keep battling. They did a great job of making some shots. I'm proud of our guys the way everything didn't go right and we didn't drop our heads. We just kept plugging away and got the job done."
Redshirt junior forward James Webb III finished with 28 points, nine rebounds and three steals to lead three Broncos with double-digit scoring. This was Webb III fifth game -- third consecutive -- with 20 or more points this season.
Boise State led by as much as 16 points and went into the locker room at halftime with a 42-28 lead.
Colorado State made back-to-back shots from beyond the arc to lead a second half comeback.
Colorado State's Antwan Scott and Joe De Ciman scored 24 and 22 points respectively to make it a two point game entering the final two minutes.
The Rams shot 8-of-14 from three point range in the second half.
Webb III notched a steal from Fred Richardson III in the final minute which paved the way for a lay-up by Chandler Hutchison to put the Broncos up by four.
Boise State notched 10 steals, their second consecutive game in double-digit figures.
"Everybody is good in conference. No matter how big the lead is, it's going to dwindle down at some point," Webb III said. "We just had to stick with it."
With nine seconds left in a two point game, Thompson grabbed his own rebound and scored to put the Broncos up 82-78.
"It's a new year and it's the start of conference and you have to step up and make big plays to win," Thompson said. "(The ball) came right to me. I guess you could say it was a little lucky bounce, but I caught it and had to make a play."
The Rams' JD Paige cut Boise State's lead back to two with a jumper, but it would not be enough as Drmic would make both his free throws on the ensuing possession to put the game away.
"We were able to do just enough," Rice said. "It was by the skin of our teeth as far as being able to get the stops that we needed."
Thompson added nine assists, six rebounds and had no turnovers. The nine assists were the most by a Bronco since Derrick Marks notched nine against Air Force on Feb. 20, 2013.
This was the Broncos third win in a conference opener since joining the Mountain West. Boise State now leads the series 5-3 against Colorado State as Mountain West opponents.
The Broncos return to action Tuesday, Jan. 5, taking their seven-game win streak to Utah State. Tip-off will be at 8 p.m. from Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Boise State went 1-1 against the Aggies last season. The Broncos are 1-18 in Logan, with their first victory coming in a 68-63 win on Feb. 3, 2015.
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