Broncos and Utah State Square Off in First-place Showdown
After completing its first conference road sweep since the 2007-08 season, the Boise State men’s basketball team (11-5, 4-0 WAC) returns home this week, squaring off against Utah State (14-2, 3-0 WAC) and Nevada (4-12, 1-2 WAC).
The Broncos and Aggies - the only remaining undefeated teams in the Western Athletic Conference - will square off in a match-up for first place Thursday, Jan. 13. Tip-off is scheduled for 8:15 p.m., at Taco Bell Arena.
Boise State will then face Nevada Saturday (Jan. 15), in a game being televised by the WAC Sports Network. Tip-off is slated for 8:30 p.m. Each game is part of a doubleheader with the Bronco women’s team.
STARTING ON THE RIGHT FOOT
The Broncos’ 4-0 start is the first since joining the WAC prior to the 2001-02 season. The last time Boise State began conference play with four-straight wins was in 1998-99, when the team was in the Big West. The Broncos haven’t started 5-0 since 1987-88, when the team won seven-straight to start Big Sky Conference play.
The Broncos trail Utah State 8-25 in a series that spans two conferences and dates back to the 1973-74 season. The last 23 games played between the two schools have been as members of the Big West and WAC. The Aggies held a 9-2 advantage in the BWC (1996-2001), and hold a 3-9 advantage with both schools in the WAC (2005-present).
The Broncos and Aggies have each won seven games when playing in Boise, with Boise State’s last home win coming Feb. 14, 2008 (66-56).
The Broncos defeated San Jose State 102-101 in quadruple overtime, the longest game in school history, then knocked off Hawaii (79-55), recording the first road sweep since the 2007-08 season. La’Shard Anderson led the Broncos in each game, scoring a career-high 31 points against the Spartans and 20 points against the Rainbow Warriors.
DEBUT FOR RICE
Leon Rice, in his debut season after being named the seventh head coach in school history, is the only coach to begin his career with six-consecutive wins.
Since Boise State became a four-year institution prior to the 1968-69 season, no other coach won more than his first two games to begin his career. Rice joins the Broncos after spending the last 11 seasons on the coaching staff at Gonzaga. He had served as the associate head coach with the Bulldogs since 2007.
Bob Behler is in his third season as the “Voice of the Broncos,” and his 25th calling college basketball games. Joining Behler, and also in his third season, is former Bronco Abe Jackson, who played for Boise State from 1998-2002.
All Bronco games will be broadcast on the Bronco Radio Network, with KBOI 670 AM serving as the flagship station. Games can also be heard live at broncosports.com.
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