The Boise State Broncos men’s basketball team came into their Dec. 13 match-up against the Weber State Wildcats looking for their third-straight win.
The game was a recent addition to both teams’ schedules as Weber State had its Saturday game canceled due to COVID-19 issues within Utah State’s basketball program.
The Broncos and Wildcats are former rivals of the Big Sky Conference, and the two teams had not played each other since 2005.
Coming into the game, RayJ Dennis led the Broncos in scoring and assists with 14.5 points and 4.3 assists per game. As a team, the Broncos averaged 78 points per game.
“I think we know we’re really long,” said junior guard Emmanuel Akot. “We’re really good at getting deflections and also our rebounding has been going pretty well. So, just our length and our ability to stand in front and get our hands on balls is really helping us. I think we have some veteran guys also who know how important defense is and know how important it is to winning. So, that helps a lot and coach [Mike] Burns does a great job teaching us positioning and scheming and giving us a great scouting report, so going into the games you know exactly what to do.”
The Broncos dominated the first half going into the locker room 35-26.
The Wildcats pulled within a point at 40-39 by going a 7-0 run capped by Cody Carlson’s 3-pointer with 14:36 left to play. The Broncos answered by going on a 13-3 run of their own, pulling away from their competition and securing a 70-59 victory over the Wildcats.
“It starts with the respect for each other and the chemistry that we have and they make each other better,” said Boise State Head Coach Leon Rice. “These guys all have individual goals and want great things but they have our team goals first.”
Derrick Alston was the leading scorer for the game; putting up 23 points alongside 5 rebounds.
“Boise State is a really good basketball team, so this was a good test for our team,” said Weber State Coach Randy Rahe. “We needed to play a game like this against a high-quality opponent and I thought we did a lot of good things and had great effort. We got some good looks but just couldn’t finish them. This is still a learning experience, we just need more games to get more comfortable.”
Next up, on Boise State’s schedule is a home stand against the New Mexico Aggies. The games will be played in the ExtraMile arena on Dec. 21 and Dec. 23.