Webb Scores 25, Broncos Take Down Bulldogs
Jan. 09, 2016
BOISE, Idaho (AP) Tied at 23-22 in a tight battle with 9:03 remaining in the first half, the Boise State men's basketball team got the spark it needed from its veteran core to pull away from Fresno State.
Senior Anthony Drmic notched a steal from the Bulldogs' Julien Lewis and junior Nick Duncan dished out the assist for an electrifying dunk from junior James Webb III on the other end. From there, the Broncos (12-4, 3-0) never trailed en route to an 81-70 win over Fresno State (11-6, 2-2) at Taco Bell Arena.
The win extended Boise State's win streak to nine games - the fifth longest in the country. The Broncos have also won 17 straight at home, two shy of the program record of 19 between Mar. 2, 1997 and Jan. 17, 1999.
The last time Boise State won nine straight games was the 1991-92 season. The school record is 10 consecutive wins from Dec. 29, 1987 to Jan. 28, 1988.
"It was a terrific win," Boise State head coach Leon Rice said. "I have a lot of respect for Fresno (State). I was really impressed with the way our guys approached that first half and came out. Those are never easy. We did some good things in the second half. When they started cutting into (the lead) we made some stops."
The two teams began the game in a deadlock, with five ties and six lead changes. After Webb III's dunk however, the Broncos would go on a 26-10 run, and would enter the locker room with a 51-32 lead off of 66.7 percent shooting from the field.
The 51 first-half points are the most Boise State has had against a Division 1 opponent since scoring 52 against New Orleans on Nov. 23, 2013.
"That was maybe our best half this year," Rice said.
Boise State would continue their dominance into the second half, going up by 21 - their largest lead of the game - with 14:21 left in the game, before a Fresno State rally would diminish the Broncos lead to 68-64 with 4:40 remaining.
The veteran core would provide the spark again. Boise State held Fresno State to 2-of-8 from the field. The Broncos ended on a 12-3 run, with four free throws from Duncan in the final two minutes to win the game.
"We're still grinding out the wins in the end," Drmic said. "Obviously you don't want to let a 20-point lead slip, but I feel like the team, when we were missing those free throws, still got some pretty big stops defensively."
Drmic rebounded from his scoreless outing against Utah State on Tuesday, finishing the game with 14 points and seven rebounds while Duncan scored 11 of his 13 points in the second half.
Webb III was the leading scoring for Boise State with 25 points - his sixth game with more than 20 points - and nine rebounds.
Webb III has 10 games with nine or more rebounds this season.
Mikey Thompson was the fourth Bronco in double-digit scoring with 13 points and four assists.
Marvelle Harris led Fresno State with 26 points.
Boise State returns to action at Nevada on Wednesday. The Wolf Pack (10-6, 2-2) are coming off an 86-63 road win against Air Force. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT from Lawlor Events Center.
"Now it's a challenge to go out to Reno, where there's a good rivalry there I think," Rice said. "We're going to have to be really ready to play. We have to regroup, and be able to go 1-0 on Wednesday."
Fresno State: Has lost 12 consecutive games in Boise. The Bulldogs' last win at Boise State came on Jan. 15, 2004. ... The 51 points allowed by Fresno State in the first half were the most allowed by the Bulldogs this season. ... Fresno State committed more turnovers (11) than its opponent for just the third time this season.
Boise State: Reserve center Robin Jorch saw his first action since Dec. 9. He'd been out with an ankle injury. He scored one point. ... After shooting 66.7 percent in the first half, Boise State made only 7 of 23 shots in the second half and one of those makes came on a goaltending call.
Fresno State hosts San Jose State on Saturday.
Boise State plays at Nevada on Wednesday.
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