Broncos Host Top Ranked Utah State on Valentine's Day
BRONCOS HOST TOP RANKED UTAH STATE: For the first time this season, the Boise State men’s basketball (16-7, 6-4 Western Athletic Conference) team welcomes a top-25 program to Taco Bell Arena as the Broncos play host to No. 21 Utah State (23-1, 11-0 WAC), Saturday, Feb. 14, at 7:05 p.m.
ABOUT THE UTAH STATE AGGIES (23-1, 11-0 WAC): The Aggies are off to their best start in school history, owning an overall record of 23-1, and are currently tied with No.2 Oklahoma (23-1) for the most wins and best record in the nation ... Utah State is the only team in the nation to win at least 23 games in each of the last 10 years ... USU is currently on an 18-game winning streak, marking the longest in the nation and the second-longest in school history behind the 1999-2000 team that won 19 ... Leading the way for the Aggies is senior Gary Wilkinson as he ranks third in the WAC in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game, and is fifth in the league in rebounding averaging 7.4 rebounds per game ... Wilkinson earned his third conference player of the week honor last week, and is the only WAC player to receive the award three times this season ... Defensively, look for Tai Wesley to dominate the floor as he leads the team in blocks (23) and ranks fifth in the conference with teammate Jared Quayle in steals, averaging 1.46 per game ... As a team, Utah State leads the WAC in eight categories, including: scoring defense (59.9 ppg), scoring margin (+12.9 ppg), free throw percentage (.736), field goal percentage (.506), field goal percentage defense (.411), rebounding defense (27.4 rpg), rebounding margin (+6.8 rpg), and assist/turnover ratio (1.45) ... The Aggies also lead the nation in won-lost percentage (.958) and field goal percentage, sixth in assist/turnover ratio, 18th in scoring margin and rebound margin, 20th in assists per game (16.3 apg), 21st in scoring defense, 24th in 3-point field goal percentage (.387), and 35th in free throw percentage.
LAST TIME AGAINST UTAH STATE (JANUARY 17, 2009): Tai Wesley scored a season-high 26 points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds to lead Utah State past Boise State 79-65 ... Jared Quayle also scored 18 and Gary Wilkinson added 10 for the Aggies .... The Broncos were led by Ike Okoye with 15. Paul Noonan added 14 and Jamar Greene 10 ... Trailing by 10 at halftime, Boise State went on a 11-4 run to start the second half, but could never catch the Aggies, who shot 48 percent from the field in the half to Boise State's 33 percent ... Utah State jumped out to a 12-3 lead in the first half, before Boise State went on a 14-5 run of their won, eventually taking the lead 24-22 on a 3-pointer by Anthony Thomas ... Utah State, however, led 43-33 at halftime thanks in part to a half-court shot by Wesley as the horn sounded.
THE BRONCOS AGAINST THE AGGIES: Historically, the Utah State Aggies lead the all-time series against the Broncos, 22-7 ... Since taking over at the helm of Boise State basketball, head coach Greg Graham is 2-6 when playing against the Aggies ... Since joining the WAC in 2005-06, the Broncos have split the series with the Aggies in each of the last two seasons ... In the last six games won by USU, three of those were decided by five points or less, with their average margin of victory being +7.6 points ... In the two games won by the Broncos under Graham, Boise State’s average margin of victory is 10.5 points ... The last time the Broncos posted a win over the Aggies at Taco Bell Arena was Jan. 4, 2007 when Boise State beat out Utah State, 77-66.
BRONCO SWEETHEART’ OF A DEAL: As an added benefit for those attending the Boise State-Utah State men's basketball game this Saturday night (Feb. 14), key members of the 2008 WAC Champion Bronco Football team will be on hand pre-game meeting fans and signing autographs. The "Sweetheart of a Deal" Valentines Night event is part of the launch weekend for the 2008 Bronco Football "No Off-Season" Commemorative DVD, which will be on sale at the event.
BRONCOS BUST RANKED OPPONENTS: While the Broncos own an overall record of 4-18 against ranked opponents, the record neglects to point out that only seven of those games were played on Boise State’s home court ... Of those seven games, the Broncos own a record of 3-4, with each of the three opponents being ranked in the 20s ... In addition, two of those wins came under head coach Greg Graham, including last season’s 73-70 victory over No. 20 BYU, which knocked the Cougars out of the top-25 rankings ... BYU was the last ranked team to play in Taco Bell Arena.
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: Saturday’s game against No. 21 Utah State will be available on KTVB Channel 7 featuring veteran announcers David Augusto (play-by-play) and Brad Larrondo (color commentator).
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: Junior Ike Okoye scored a career-high 22 points as Boise State held on to beat San Jose State 89-83 on Saturday night ... Okoye, who went into the game averaging just 8.7 points this season, went 8-of-12 from the floor and was 6-for-10 from the line ... Okoye also recorded six rebounds and blocked four huge shots ... Boise State also improved to 19-1 all-time against the Spartans and have won 14 straight in the series.
CLEAN SWEEP: For the seventh consecutive season, the Broncos have swept the Spartans in conference play ... The last time San Jose State was victorious over Boise State was Feb. 2, 2002 when the Spartans beat out the Broncos 62‐51 ... This season, the Broncos have completed a season sweep over both San Jose State and Hawaii.
SHARP SHOOTERS: The Broncos made a season‐best from beyond the arc as they sank 11 three‐pointers ... On the night, Boise State shot .500 from 3‐point range, making 11‐of‐22 ... As a team, the Broncos tied their season‐best shooting percentage, making 32‐of‐56 shots from the floor; to shoot .571 percent ... The last time Boise State shot .571 was in its season opener, Nov. 14, when it beat Pacific, 100‐68.www.broncosports.com
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