The Boise State men’s basketball team beat the Washington State Cougars 71-61 in the Capital City Classic at Idaho Central Arena on Nov. 12.
“It was an entertaining basketball game,” head coach Leon Rice said. “It was a cool event that the boys and the fans enjoyed…we’ll try to keep coming up with creative ways to get good teams in Boise.”
Coming into the matchup, the Cougars held a 4-3 advantage over the Broncos all-time.
Despite the Cougars being favored to win Saturday night’s game, the Broncos were able to get their first win in the regular season.
The Broncos were determined to win after they lost against South Dakota State in their season opener.
Boise State trailed early in the first half 0-8, but quickly found a rhythm on the court, going on an 11-point scoring run shortly after.
“There was definitely an energy shift,” forward Naje Smith said. “When we went on that run, we got our feet under us and then we were playing Bronco Basketball.”
Entering the second half, the Broncos led 29-22.
The Broncos came out hot to begin the second half with defensive efforts by Naje Smith and Shaver.
The Broncos made the lead 36-27 with 16:59 left in the game.
With forced turnovers and steals, Naje Smith, Shaver and Chibuzo Agbo made aggressive stops on the defensive side of the ball.
A three pointer by Cougars TJ Bamba, tied the game 48-48 with 8:35 left to play.
Lukas Milner came up big for the Broncos with back-to-back field goals late in the second half to put the Broncos up 54-48 with 6:28 on the clock.
Tyson Degenhart made a hookshot in the paint to make the lead 63-56 with 2:36 remaining on the clock.
Shaver went on to make back-to-back layups to strengthen the Bronco lead to 67-58 with 1:21 remaining.
The Broncos held on to the convincing lead to defeat the Cougars 71-61.
To conclude the win, the Broncos went 45% from field goal range and 64% from the free throw line.
With a double-double on the night, Shaver, the fifth-year guard, was a threat on the floor in all areas. His 15 points, ten rebounds and five assists helped notch a Bronco win.
Degenhart rallied up 14 points on the night and Max Rice had 15 points to round out the win for the Broncos.
The Broncos improved to 1-1 on the season and will be on the road for the Myrtle Beach Invitational in South Carolina on Nov. 17 and 18.