Boise State Travels North to Take on Rival Idaho

BOISE STATE TRAVEL NORTH TO TAKE ON RIVAL IDAHO: The Boise State men’s basketball team takes to the road as the Broncos head north to the Palouse to take on rival Idaho, Thursday, Jan. 29, with tipoff scheduled for 7:05 (PST). While the Broncos have posted 14-consecutive wins over the Vandals, Boise State’s only two conference losses came on the road and Idaho is 7-1 when playing at home, including 2-0 in conference play at Cowan Spectrum.

ABOUT THE IDAHO VANDALS (9-10, 3-3): The Vandals are off to one of their best starts since joining the Western Athletic Conference as they are currently 9-10 overall, 3-3 in conference play ... Leading the way for Idaho is junior transfer Mac Hopson as he ranks fourth in the WAC in scoring with 16.6 points per game ... Hopson also leads the conference in assists (5.79 apg), is third in steals (1.68 spg), fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.83), sixth in minutes played (33.74) and 10th in 3-pointers made (1.58 pg) ... Not to be overlooked is junior Brandon Wiley who dominates the defensive side of the ball for the Vandals as he ranks eighth in offensive rebounds (2.37 rpg), 10th in blocked shots (1.05 bpg), 14th in rebounding (5.9 rpg), in addition to ranking third in the WAC in field goal percentage (.595) ... Idaho lost just one game at home this season, which was a 41-55 point loss, Dec. 21, to Washington State ... The Vandals are undefeated at home in conference play, and are currently on a one game winning streak after defeating New Mexico State, 67-57, at home last weekend.

LAST TIME AGAINST THE VANDALS (FEBRUARY 20, 2008): Reggie Larry scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds and Tyler Tiedeman and Matt Nelson added 17 points each as Boise State defeated Idaho 78-64 ... It was the fourth straight win for Boise State and the Broncos’ 14th consecutive victory over Idaho ... Anthony Thomas’ steal and layup early in the first period gave Boise State its first lead at 6-5, and the Broncos never trailed again ... Boise State led 39-22 at the half, on 11 points each from Larry and Tiedeman and a 23-15 rebounding edge ... Boise State led by as many as 25 in the second half ... Michael Crowell led Idaho with 18 points and hit six of nine 3-point attempts ... Clyde Johnson scored 12 points for Idaho and Darin Nagle added 11 ... Larry also had a career-high five assists, two steals and a block for Boise State, while Matt Bauscher added 13 points ... The Broncos’ starting five scored all but two of their points.

THE BRONCOS AGAINST THE VANDALS: Not only does Boise State lead the series, 47-32, but the Broncos are on a 14-game winning streak over the Vandals ... The last time Idaho posted a win over Boise State was February 17, 2001 with a 70-67 point win in Moscow ... While the Broncos are on an impressive winning streak, the Vandals have not posted back-to-back wins over Boise State since the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 seasons when they posted three consecutive wins ... Coach Greg Graham owns a perfect 12-0 record against Idaho, however he has never faced off against Idaho Head Coach Don Verlin, who is in his first year as a head coach.

RADIO:  KIDO (580 & 630 AM) in Boise, will broadcast the game live with Bob Behler providing the play-by-play. Former Boise State basketball player Abe Jackson handles color commentary. The games can also be heard on the Boise State Broncos Radio Network in Twin Falls (KSNQ 98.3 FM), Pocatello (KWIK 1240AM), Idaho Falls (KID 590AM), Sun Valley (KYZK 107.5FM), and McCall (KDZY 98.3 FM). KIDO, which is in its first year as the home of the Broncos, will broadcast every Boise State game.

TELEVISION:  Thursday’s game against Idaho will be available on KTVB Channel 7, with coverage beginning at 8 p.m. (MST).

ESPN360.COM TO PICK UP BOISE STATE-IDAHO GAME: This Thursday, when Boise State faces off against Idaho, the game will also be available online via ESPN360.com -- ESPN’s signature broadband sports TV network.  The game is available completely free to any student on campus (in fact, to any student on any U.S. college campus -- nearly 18 million people).  This season, ESPN360.com will feature more than 300 college basketball games. To access the game on the website, please access http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/espn360/index?id=290290070

BRONCOS ON THE INTERNET: 
Fans can log on to broncosports.com and watch all home games.   By becoming a Bronco Vision premium subscription member, Boise State fans will receive access to live games, past games, seasonal highlights, special features and interviews that can only be seen by paying the membership price of $9.95 per month or $69.95 per year.  Bronco Vision members will need a high speed internet connection. Live stats can be found at broncosports.com to follow the game on game tracker.

BRONCO OF THE WEEK: Leading the way for the Broncos last week was junior Ike Okoye as Boise State broke a two-game losing streak as the Broncos returned home to post a pair of wins over New Mexico State and La Tech to solidify their spot at No. 3 in the WAC ... Against New Mexico State, Okoye grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and added 15 points to the Broncos 87-84 win over the Aggies ... The win over NMSU marked the first time Boise State had posted a win over the Aggies in regular season play since the 2005-06 season ... During Saturday’s game against La Tech Okoye led the Broncos with 16 points, while grabbing five boards and three blocks ... His three blocks pushed his career block total to 40, moving him into the Boise State record books as he currently sits in seventh on the single season blocked shots list ... On the week, the junior went 14-for-25 from the field to shoot 56.0 percent, averaging 15.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

BOISE CROWDS GIVE BRONCOS BOOST: Boise State’s crowd of 5,089 against Hawaii marked the largest home crowd the Broncos have played in front of this season ... This marks the largest crowd Boise State has played in front of at home since Feb. 23, 2008 against Siena when the Broncos fell 70-93 in front of 5, 982 fans ... The Broncos own a record of 5-0 when playing at home in front of crowds of 3,000+.

HOME SWEET HOME: The Broncos have lost just one time this season when playing on their home court, owning a home record of 11-1 overall ... The only loss came against San Francisco, Dec. 13, when the Dons beat out the Broncos, 79-76, in the final minute of play ... The last time Boise State posted a better record at home was during the 2006-07 season when the Broncos went 13-2 when playing at Taco Bell Arena ... The win over Louisiana Tech pushed Boise State to 5-2 in WAC play and is now 4-0 in conference play when at home ... The last time the Broncos opened a season with a 4-0 conference record at home was during the 1997-98 season when Boise State went undefeated at home in Big West play.

LOW BALLING BRONCOS: The 58-53 win over La Tech was the third game this season in which Boise State has been victorious in games it has scored under 60 points ... On the season, the Broncos own a record of 3-2 in games in which they score less than 60 points ... More impressive, Boise State is undefeated when holding its opponents to 60 points or less.

BLOCK PARTY
: Junior Ike Okoye moved his way into the Boise State record books as he tallied three blocks against the Bulldogs, pushing his season block total to 40 ... He currently sits in seventh, but is just one shy of sixth, which is held by Tanoka Beard with 41 during the 1991-92 season ... With 11 regular season games left, Okoye could break the school record, which is currently held by John Coker with 77 blocks during the 1993-94 season ... Okoye currently leads the conference in blocked shots, averaging 2.05 blocks per game.

SEEING DOUBLE: Junior Anthony Thomas recorded his first career double-double as he tallied 12 points and dished out 10 assists ... On the night, the guard went 4-for-6 from the field, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc ... On the season, Thomas dominates the Boise State roster with 105 assists, sitting just 17 shy of breaking into the school record books for single season assists for the second consecutive season ... Currently owns the No. 2 spot on the single season assists list with 141 which he set last season.

BRONCOS BETTER RECORD AGAINST AGGIES: The win over the Aggies marked the first time since the 1998-99 season that the Broncos have posted back-to-back wins over New Mexico State ... The last time Boise State met NMSU was in the championship game of the WAC Tournament last season when the Broncos defeated the Aggies, 107-102, in triple overtime ... That win over New Mexico State gave Boise State its first bid into the NCAA Tournament since 1994 ... The victory marked the first time since the 2005-06 season that Boise State has posted a win over NMSU during the regular season ... The last time the Broncos posted a win over the Aggies in regular season play, the game was also played in Boise.

LIKE TAKING CANDY FROM AN AGGIE: As a team, the Broncos tallied a season-high 10 steals against New Mexico State ... Boise State recorded 10 steals earlier this season in its 86-85 win over Wyoming, Dec. 3, 2008.

STARTING WITH DEPTH
: For the first time this season, Boise State added a new starting five into the mix over the weekend as they started with Kurt Cunningham, Jamar Greene, Paul Noonan, Ike Okoye and Anthony Thomas against New Mexico State, and started Cunnigham, Aaron Garner, Noonan, Okoye and Thomas against La Tech ... This is just the fourth different lineup used by the Broncos ... Senior Mark Sanchez, who has started in all games leading up to New Mexico State, did not start the last two games due to injury.


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