Blue and Orange Head to Albuquerque
Feb. 5, 2018
THE GAME: Boise State (19-4, 9-2) will face one of the toughest road environments of the season this Tuesday, Feb. 6 with a matchup in Albuquerque, N.M., at Dreamstyle Arena (“The Pit”) against New Mexico (12-12, 7-4). The game will tip at 8 p.m. (MT) and air on ESPNU.
ESPNU: Rich Hollenberg will handle play-by-play duties while Debbie Antonelli will be on the call as the analyst.
LISTEN: Bob Behler (play-by-play) and Abe Jackson (analyst) will provide radio coverage via the airwaves of 670 AM KBOI. The pregame show will begin at 7:30 p.m. (MT).
ABOUT NEW MEXICO: The Lobos are in third place in the Mountain West standings with a half-game lead over Wyoming (6-4). New Mexico has been a well-rounded scoring team thus far, as seven different players average eight or more points with Sam Logwood (12.7 ppg) leading the way.
New Mexico continues to turn teams over at an extremely high rate with its pressure defense, currently sporting a +5.3 average turnover margin that is first in the conference and No. 6 in the NCAA. Naturally, the Lobos’ 7.4 steals per game average also leads the conference.
LAST TIME AGAINST THE LOBOS: The Broncos put forth a dominant effort a month ago (Jan. 3) in defeating New Mexico 90-62 at Taco Bell Arena. Five different Boise State players scored in double figures with Justinian Jessup leading the way with a career-high 23 points. The Blue and Orange outrebounded New Mexico by 20 (45-25) and held the visitors to 34.9 percent shooting from the field.
The Lobos have gone 6-2 since that game, however, including a perfect 4-0 mark at Dreamstyle Arena.
THE SERIES: The Broncos trail 10-4 in the all-time series. Boise State is also just 1-5 on the road at “The Pit”, with its only win coming on Jan. 18, 2015 when Derrick Marks (31) and James Webb III (23) combined for 54 points in a 69-59 Bronco victory.
MULTIPLE THREATS: Five different players scored double-digit points against UNLV on Saturday, as Chandler Hutchison (21), Justinian Jessup (18), Lexus Williams (12), Marcus Dickinson (12) and Chris Sengfelder (10) were all excellent offensively.
The five players scoring in double digits marked the fourth time this season that the program has accomplished the feat. It was the first such game since, coincidentally, doing it against New Mexico at home on Jan. 3.
13-0 AT THE BELL: The victory over the Rebels pushes Boise State’s record at Taco Bell Arena to a perfect 13-0 this season – tying the school record for longest home winning streak in a season, joining the 1997-98 team and its 13-0 home record on the season.
LIMITED THE TURNOVERS: Boise State showed significant growth in limiting turnovers against the Rebels, finishing with a season low of seven. The Broncos have made gradual improvements in the statistic, as they averaged 14.2 turnovers per game in the nonconference season and are now at 12.8 in only conference play.
A WIN WOULD…: A win would push Boise State to 20-4 overall and 10-2 in Mountain West play. The 20-4 record would be the best 24-game start to a season since the 1988-89 team also started 20-4. A 10-2 start to Mountain West play would be the team’s best 12-game start to a conference season since kicking off Big West play 10-2 in the 1998-89 season.
The 20 wins would also give head coach Leon Rice his sixth 20-win season in a row at Boise State, further improving the school record for consecutive 20-win seasons. The previous longest stretch of consecutive 20-win campaigns was three, coming in 1986-87, 1987-88 and 1988-89. The Broncos had just seven 20-win campaigns since joining Division I before Rice took over.
The team’s current stretch of five consecutive 20-win seasons is the longest current such streak in the Mountain West. A win will make Boise State just one of five schools in the conference’s history to ever tally six consecutive 20-win seasons.
70 POINTS = THE KEY: The Broncos are 16-1 this season when scoring 70 or more points. On the flip side, they are a perfect 12-0 when holding opponents to under 70 points. The 70-point mark will be a telling benchmark to keep an eye on this Tuesday.
FINDING A WAY IN CLOSE GAMES: With Saturday’s two-point win against UNLV (93-91), Boise State is now 5-1 this season in games decided by four or less points. The team has shown an ability to knock down big free throws down the stretch, as well, as they are 61-of-84 (73%) from the line this season in “clutch” situations – less than five minutes to play in regulation with a margin of 10 or less points, and any point in an overtime period.
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