Broncos Close Out Regular Season With Senior Send-Off Against Nevada
BRONCOS CLOSE REGULAR SEASON WITH SENIOR SEND-OFF AGAINST NEVADA: Yet another successful Boise State men’s basketball season is on the verge of coming to a close as the Broncos not only fight for their 20th win of the season and the No. 2 seed at the Western Athletic Conference Tournament, but will say their goodbye’s to a trio of seniors during Saturday’s match-up against Nevada at approximately 8:15 p.m. at Taco Bell Arena. Due to this being a double-header game, the men will tip-off 30 minutes after the Boise State women’s basketball team plays rival Idaho, which begins at 6 p.m. (MST).
ABOUT THE NEVADA WOLF PACK (18-11, 10-5 WAC): The Wolf Pack has won its last two games and five of its last six contests ... In addition, Nevada has won 34 of its last 54 road games, including a record of 7-5 when playing away from their home court ... Leading the way for Nevada is freshman Luke Babbitt with 16.5 points and 7.4 rebounds per game ... The forward currently ranks fourth in the WAC in scoring, third in rebounding and is second in free throw percentage (.844) ... Not to overshadowed is sophomore Armon Johnson, who tallies 15.2 points per game, in addition to leading the Pack in assists with 4.2 per game ... Johnson also ranks among the conference’s elite as he is currently fourth in assist/turnover ratio (1.92), fifth in assists, sixth in free throw percentage (.787) and eighth in scoring, Defensively, look for Dario Hunt to dominate the boards as he not only averages 4.3 rebounds per game, but leads the WAC in blocked shots averaging 2.1 per game ... As a team, Nevada leads the conference in free throw percentage (.740), field goal percentage defense (.414), rebounding defense (37.0), blocked shots (4.97) and defensive rebounds (24.72).
LAST TIME AGAINST NEVADA (January 15, 2009): Armon Johnson scored 25 points and Luke Babbitt added 18 points and 10 rebounds to help Nevada hold off Boise State 77-63 ... The Wolf Pack used a 9-0 run in the final six minutes to break open the game ... Anthony Thomas hit a 3-pointer for Boise State to cut Nevada's lead to 59-54 with 6:23 to go ... Lyndale Burleson answered with a 3-pointer for Nevada to start the Wolf Pack's run that extended the lead to 14 points ... La'Shard Anderson scored 14 points and Thomas added 13 to lead the Broncos, who had won six straight games.
THE BRONCOS AGAINST THE WOLF PACK: While Nevada leads the series 34-20, Boise State swept the Wolf Pack last season, winning by a margin of 7.0 points ... In fact, the Pack holds a 14-12 advantage in games played in Boise and has won three of the last four contests and six of the last eight games at Taco Bell Arena ... Last season’s, Boise State swept both games from Nevada for the first time since the 1998-99 season ... The season sweep also broke a four-game winning streak in the series against Nevada ... Since Greg Graham took over at the helm of the program, he is 4-10 against the Wolf Pack, and owns a record of 3-10 when coaching against Nevada’s Mark Fox.
SENIOR SEND-OFF: Saturday’s game marks the last regular season home appearance for three members of the Boise State men’s basketball program, who were instrumental in last season’s WAC Championship and this season’s success. Prior to the tip of the men’s game, senior Aaron Garner, Jamar Greene and Mark Sanchez will be recognized for their accomplishments during their time at Boise State ... This season, Garner has averaged 5.8 points per game and shot an impressive 42.1 percent from the field ... Greene has started in 14 of Boise State’s 29 games this season, averaged 6.2 points and 2.3 rebounds per game, while making 40.6 percent of his shots from the floor ... Sanchez has led the Broncos in both scoring and rebounding throughout the season, with 12.9 points and 7.0 rebounds per game. In addition, he was just the third Bronco in Boise State history to earn WAC Player of the Week honors twice in a single season.
DOUBLE HEADER SUCCESS: Boise State’s game against Nevada marks the sixth double-header game the Broncos have played in this season ... The Broncos have played in four double-headers (including an exhibition game) with the women’s team at home this season and have posted a perfect record of 4-0 in those games ... When playing in double-headers on the road, Boise State is 0-2 with losses coming at Siena (52-82) and La Tech (62-76).
LEADING THE WAY: Senior Mark Sanchez has led the Broncos in scoring 11 times time season, including the last three consecutive games ... When Sanchez leads the way in points column, Boise State is 6-5 in those games ... The other two seniors have each led the Broncos in scoring on one occasion each: Aaron Garner tallied a career and team-high 19 points in Boise State’s 56-94 point loss at BYU, while Jamar Greene registered a career-high 19 points in Boise State’s 104-92 point win at New Mexico State ... Posting a perfect record when leading the Broncos in scoring is both junior Anthony Thomas and sophomore Paul Noonan ... When Thomas leads the team in scoring, the Broncos are 4-0, while Boise State is 3-0 when Noonan dominates the points category.
KURT’S SCORING STREAKS: In two of the last three games, Boise State has been led by junior Kurt Cunningham ... Cunningham recorded a team-high 15 points, going 6-for-8 from the field and 3-for-3 from the charity stripe ... The junior added a pair of rebounds, two steals and an assist in just 18 minutes of play against Fresno State ... This is the seventh time this season the center has led the Broncos in scoring ... When the center leads the Broncos in scoring, Boise State owns a record of 5-2 overall, but is 5-0 when playing at home.
FAST BREAK SUCCESS: Boise State recorded a season-high 22 points off of fast breaks against Fresno State, while the Bulldogs had just six ... Ironically, the last time the these two teams matched up, the Dogs recorded 22 fast-break points compared to the Broncos 10.
DOUBLE THE FUN: Junior Anthony Thomas recorded his first career double-double as he tallied 12 points and dished out 10 assists against La Tech... 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 143 assists, sitting at third on the single season assists list and is just two shy of breaking taking over the top spot ... This marks the second consecutive season in which Thomas has made his way into the school record books for single season assists ... He currently owns the No. 4 spot on the single season assists list with 141 which he set last season ... The single season record is currently held by Boise greats, Doug Usitalo (1987-88) and John Coker (1976-77) with 145 assists each.
BLOCK PARTY: Junior Ike Okoye moved his way into the Boise State record books as he tallied a pair of blocks against Fresno State, pushing his season block total to 56 ... He currently sits in second after passing Dave Richardson at the No. 3 spot with 53 during the 1978-79 season ... The single season record is currently held by Coker with 77 blocks during the 1993-94 season ... Okoye currently ranks second in the conference in blocked shots, averaging 1.93 blocks per game.
LEADING THE WAC: Junior Kurt Cunningham currently leads the WAC in field goal percentage (.688) , while sophomore Paul Noonan ranks first in in the league in free throw percentage (.857) ... Junior Ike Okoye currently ranks second in the conference in blocked shots, averaging 1.93 blocks per game ... Junior Anthony Thomas is second in the WAC in assists (4.93apg) ... As a team, the Broncos lead the WAC in assists (16.31 apg) ... In addition, Boise State ranks second in scoring offense (73.2), defensive rebounds (24.41), field goal percentage (.477) and assist/turnover ratio (1.13).
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 Nevada will not be aired locally, but will be available nationally as part of ESPN’s Full Court subscription package. For local coverage of the game, tune into KIDO (580 & 630 AM) with Bob Behler and Abe Jackson.
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.
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