Boise State Travels to Montana for Season Opening Tournament

The Boise State men’s basketball team opens its regular season with a three-game tournament hosted by the University of Montana, Nov. 13-15. While in Missoula, the Broncos will face Loyola Marymount in their first game (Fri. Nov. 13), followed by Montana (Sat. Nov. 14) and will round out the tournament against North Dakota (Sun. Nov. 15).

RADIO:  KIDO (580 and 630 AM) in Boise, will broadcast the game live with Mark Snider providing the play-by-play. Former Boise State basketball player Abe Jackson handles color commentary. Bronco fans can hear the games throughout Idaho and in neighboring states over the nine stations Idaho Lottery Bronco Sports Network.  In addition to 580 KIDO in Boise, the games will be simulcast on 630 KIDO.  Other stations carrying Boise State football include KSNQ 98.3 FM in Twin Falls, KDZY 98.3 FM in McCall, KWIK 1240 AM in Pocatello and KID 590 AM and 92.1 FM in Idaho Falls. 

Broncos Against the Competition…

Loyola Marymount
The Broncos are 2-2 all time against the Lions and are currently on a two-game skid after falling to LMU 74-76 during the 2007-08 season. In fact, Boise State’s last win over Loyola dates back to the 1999-2000 season when the Broncos beat out the Lions, 70-50, at Taco Bell Arena. This will be the first meeting between the two schools on a neutral court.

The Grizzlies and Broncos rivalry dates back to the 1969-70 season with a Boise State 89-77 win, and while Boise State dominated the series for the first few years; Montana took over the lead and currently owns a record of 32-25 against the Broncos. The two teams have not faced each other since the 2006-07 season when the Grizzlies defeated the Broncos, 58-62 at Missoula. Boise State is 5-23 when playing on Montana’s home court, with its last victory the Broncos had over the Grizzlies on the road was a 74-66 win during the 1994-95 season. The current streak between the two schools goes to Montana with a win.

North Dakota
The meeting between the Fighting Sioux and the Broncos will be just the second time the two schools have faced off against one another. Boise State beat North Dakota in its first meeting, 92-79 during the 1972-73 season, giving the Broncos both the lead in the series and current streak at 1-0.

Preseason Play…

During the preseason, the Broncos had a pair of exhibition games where they went 2-0, averaging 110.0 points and 55.5 rebounds per game. Leading the way for the Broncos in preseason play was senior Ike Okoye as he averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Also making an impact on the floor were newcomers Robert Arnold and Daequon Montreal. Arnold averaged 14.5 points per game, while Montreal averaged 11.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Below is a closer look at the Broncos two exhibition games.

Boise State 111, Willamette 72
On opening night, the Boise State men’s basketball team put on an offensive display as the posted a 111-72 victory over Willamette on Tuesday. Every Bronco that stepped foot on the floor scored at least three points with six Broncos hitting double digits in the exhibition game … La'Shard Anderson and newcomer Robert Arnold led all Broncos with 14 points apiece. Arnold made his debut in the Blue and Orange in electrifying fashion with a pair of dunks that brought the crowd to its feet … Daequon Montreal was another Bronco that made his debut on Tuesday night with a double-double, putting up 13 points and bringing down 13 rebounds. The newcomer ignited a 17-3 run over the last five minutes of the first half with a layup that gave the Broncos a 31-24 lead. The Bearcats’ Marcus Holmes, who put up a game-high 28 points, had just driven into the paint and cut the lead to five … That was as close as the Bearcats would get as the Broncos led 46-27 at the half and shot 60.9 percent in the second half to keep the Bearcats at bay. Despite the effort of Holmes, the Broncos held the Bearcats to 33.3 percent shooting on the night and outrebounded the visiting team 62-31. Ike Okoye was the Broncos second leading rebounder with 13 on the night and also posted 10 points for the double-double.

Boise State 109, Concordia 89
The Boise State men’s basketball team wrapped up its exhibition season with another convincing 109-89 win over Concordia (Ore.). The Broncos dominated the post for most of the game with Ike Okoye leading all scorers with 21 points … Okoye narrowly missed his second consecutive double-double, grabbing nine boards in addition to his 21 points. Fellow big man, Kurt Cunningham, added 14 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Daequon Montreal added nine points as did Zach Moritz, who just missed a double-double with 10 rebounds. Moritz, Cunningham and Okoye combined to score 17 of the Broncos’ first 19 points … The Broncos used the dominating play of the posts to take a commanding 52-30 lead at halftime. Concordia kept the game close over the first nine minutes and took a 17-13 on a Drew Preuninger 3-pointer with 13:36 left in the half. The Broncos took over the game after that with a 15-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 28-17 lead. The Broncos went on to outscore Concordia 39-13 over the final 13 and a half minutes of the first half … The second half featured a high-paced shootout between the two teams as they traded baskets for most the half. Robert Arnold scored 15 points in the fast-paced offense often getting to the rim for a couple high-flying dunks.

THOMAS SETS SINGLE SEASON ASSIST RECORD:  Anthony Thomas set a school record for assists in a single season after dishing out 146 … The previous record was held by Doug Usitalo (1987-88) and John Coker (1976-77) with 145 assists each … 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 … Thomas currently ranks sixth on Boise State’s all-time assists list with 337 career assists.

BLOCK PARTY: Ike Okoye finished the season with 58 blocks, which is the second most blocks recorded in a single season in Boise State history … Okoye finished the regular season ranked second in the WAC in blocked shots with 1.93 blocks per game.

BRONCOS RANK AMONG CONFERENCE LEADERS: Several Boise State players finished the 2008-09 season ranked among the conference’s leaders: Kurt Cunningham lead the WAC in field goal percentage (.689) , while Paul Noonan ranked first in the league in free throw percentage (.857) … Okoye ranked second in the conference in blocked shots, averaging 1.93 blocks per game … Thomas finished second in the WAC in assists (4.80apg) … As a team, the Broncos completed the regular season ranked second in the WAC in assists (16.00 apg), scoring offense (72.8), defensive rebounds (24.50), field goal percentage (.474) and assist/turnover ratio (1.10).

SHARP SHOOTERS: Last season the Broncos could always count on Kurt Cunningham and Paul Noonan to get to the basket when needed. Cunningham  finished the season with a field goal percentage of .672, which ranks third in the Boise State record books on the single season field goal percentage list … Noonan finished the season making .847 percent from the line, good enough for fifth on the single season list for free throw percentage in the Boise State record books.

BOISE STATE RETURNS SIX IMPACT PLAYERS:  The Broncos return six players (La'Shard Anderson, Kurt Cunningham, Zack Moritz, Paul Noonan, Ike Okoye and Anthony Thomas) who have scored in double figures during their career ... During exhibition play; Okoye scored 21 points against Concordia to lead the Broncos to a 109-89 victory over the Cavaliers, Nov. 7.
BOISE STATE WELCOMES FIVE TO THE BRONCO FAMILY:  The Broncos add three junior college transfers (Robert Arnold, Daequon Montreal and Westly Perryman) and two true freshman (Sam Hicks and G.A. Hill) to their roster ... During the Broncos first exhibition game of the season, Arnold led the way with 14 points, while Montreal added 13 points and 13 boards in Boise State’s 111-72 win over Willamette, Nov. 3. Not to be overshadowed was Perryman, who tallied 11 points, five rebounds and three steals.

POSTSEASON NOTHING NEW FOR THE BRONCOS: Boise State posted an overall record of 19-13, 9-7 in conference play to mark the third consecutive winning season for Boise State … The last time the Broncos posted three back-to-back winning seasons was during the 90s when they had nine consecutive winning seasons spanning from the 1990-91 season through the 1998-99 season ... Marked the second consecutive season the Broncos qualified for postseason play.

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