Boise State Faces Utah State Next
Jan. 16, 2018
THE GAME: Boise State (15-3, 5-1) will continue its home stand with a 7 p.m. (MT) matchup Wednesday night against Utah State (10-9, 3-3) at Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos will be looking to keep a firm hold on second place in the Mountain West standings while staying within a half game of first-place Nevada (16-3, 5-0), who they will face in Reno on Saturday.
STADIUM / FACEBOOK: Wednesday’s game will air on Stadium with a live broadcast on Facebook. For the direct link to the Facebook broadcast, click HERE.
LISTEN: The game will feature radio coverage from the Bronco Radio Network with 670 AM KBOI serving as the flagship station. The pregame show will begin at 6:30 p.m. (MT) with Bob Behler on play-by-play and Abe Jackson as analyst.
ABOUT UTAH STATE: The Aggies enter the game having lost their last two games, at home to Colorado State (84-75) and on the road at Nevada (83-57), but managed to pick up a 85-78 road win at UNLV (Jan. 6) before hitting the two-game slide.
Utah State is led by two standout sophomore guards in Koby McEwen (14.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 2.5 apg) and Sam Merrill (14.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 3.6 apg). Through six games of MW play the Aggies are scoring an average of 73.8 points per game while giving up 79.2 points per game.
PLAYING THE AGGIES: Utah State holds a 30-14 advantage in the all-time series, but the Broncos have won the last five matchups. The last two games at Taco Bell Arena against the Aggies have been one-possession contests, as the Broncos won 70-67 in 2016 and then 72-70 last season.
INSTANT CLASSIC: Last Saturday’s 83-80 victory over San Diego State was a game that the sell-out crowd of 10,874 in Taco Bell Arena won’t quickly forget, as Chandler Hutchison recorded the single-game scoring record with 44 points on an incredible 15-of-21 performance from the field, including going 7-of-10 from behind the arc.
Hutchison scored 25 of his 44 points in the first half - the most points in a half by a Boise State player since Derrick Marks scored 26 points in the second half against Colorado State (Jan. 27, 2015). He scored the team's first 16 points of the game, as well.
The 44 points ties for the second-highest single-game point total from an individual in NCAA Division I this season. The last Bronco to score 40 points in a game was Carl Powell (Feb. 8, 1979).
The senior was named the Mountain West Player of the Week on Monday, as well, good for his conference-leading third weekly honor of the season.
INCREDIBLE ENVIRONMENT: The 10,874 fans that filled Taco Bell Arena against the Aztecs wasn’t just the 20th-largest crowd in the arena’s history and the biggest in nearly three years, but Bronco Nation was able to create a deafening environment that created a remarkable home court advantage. With 18 seconds remaining in the game and the Broncos leading 81-79 with San Diego State’s Jalen McDaniels set to shoot two free throws, Taco Bell Arena rose to its loudest volume of the night and McDaniels only made one of two, allowing the Broncos to maintain the lead and control the final 18 seconds of play.
A WIN WOULD…: If the Broncos are to earn the victory Wednesday night, the Blue and Orange would be 16-3 and 6-1 in conference play.
The 16-3 record would match the best 19-game start to a season in program history, as the 1987-88 and 1988-89 teams also earned the same record.
A 6-1 start in league play would tie for the second-best seven-game start to a conference season, as the program has achieved that record four previous times – one of which was in Leon Rice era (2015-16). The 1987-88 team was the only Bronco squad to reach a perfect 7-0 league mark, which they did in the Big Sky Conference.
AMONG THE NATION’S BEST: Boise State continues to rank among the best in the NCAA when it comes to all things 3-pointers and rebounding. Boise State has made 182 threes (No. 26 in NCAA) at a 39.5 percent clip (No. 36 in NCAA), but has done an even better job in running opponents off the 3-point line, sporting a defense that holds the opposition to 28.8 percent shooting from behind the arc (No. 6 in NCAA).
The team’s +8.8 average rebounding margin (No. 9 in NCAA) has been possible through the team’s efforts on the defensive glass, as they average 30.6 defensive boards a game (No. 3 in NCAA).
GOOD THINGS HAPPEN WHEN NORTH OF 50%: Boise State was once again above 50 percent shooting last Saturday, as they were 28-for-51 from the field (54.9%) against the Aztecs – pushing its record on the season to 7-0 when shooting 50 percent or better. Leon Rice-coached Bronco teams are 56-2 when shooting the percentage, as well.
Through six Mountain West games, Boise State is shooting 50.4 percent while holding opponents to 38.2 percent – both percentages are No. 1 in the league.
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