Men’s basketball scrapes by to get 10th consecutive win

Boise State men's basketball vs. Air Force at ExtraMile arena (Jan. 18, 2022)
Photo by Claire Keener

Boise State men’s basketball pulled off another win 62-56 against Air Force on Tuesday night, Jan. 18 in ExtraMile Arena. The Broncos have now collected their 10th consecutive win and remain undefeated in conference play. 

The Broncos took control early in the first half, putting up a 22-8 lead against the Falcons. This included redshirt senior guard Emmanuel Akot’s trio of three-pointers. 

Freshman forward Tyson Degenhart led the way in scoring with 19 points. A highlight of the game was his steal and breakaway dunk in the second half which resulted in a standing ovation from Bronco Nation. 

“He made some big winning plays too, there were a couple big buckets that I thought were huge,” said head coach Leon Rice. “When you play winners that’s what you get.”

Air Force began to come back towards the end of the first half, extending Boise State’s lead to only three. Early in the second half, the Falcons took a one-point lead on several occasions, but the Broncos kept their composure.

Akot also scored in double figures with 12 points, four of which were three-pointers. This was his fourth time this season he has hit at least four three-pointers in a game. 

There was an eight-minute period where the Broncos were unable to score. The team also went 19-32 in free throws and 5-14 in three-pointers throughout the game. According to redshirt junior guard Max Rice, the team has been working a lot on free throws in practice. 

“I think just not having as many lapses of bad offense, I think that is something we can definitely improve,” Degenhart said when asked about what improvements the team can make moving forward.

Last season, the Broncos had a 13 game winning streak running, but came to an unfortunate end with a loss of 78-56 at Colorado State. The Broncos’ current 10-game streak matches the second-longest win streak in program history which has only been accomplished four times in the program. This streak is also tied for the third-longest active winning streak in the country. 

“I think if it was easy, everyone would do it,” Rice said. “I think the biggest thing is building chemistry as a team as the wins keep coming. If we just keep playing hard every game I think we can keep this going for sure.”

Boise State was missing several of its players due to injuries and played a seven-man rotation throughout both halves. 

Although the Broncos were able to secure the win, the team has shown higher scoring against different opponents. However, this was Boise State’s 10th opponent they have held to fewer than 60 points this season. 

“I sum it up this way, we accomplished the mission,” coach Rice said. “Division I games and conference games are really hard to win and I want them to make more [shots]. I know we can and I know we will, but the beauty of them, they just find ways to win.”

Boise State men's basketball vs. Air Force at ExtraMile arena (Jan. 18, 2022)
[Boise State men’s basketball vs. Air Force at ExtraMile arena on Jan. 18]
Photo by Claire Keener | The Arbiter

Leave a Reply