Selling Out for a Sell Out: Boise State men’s basketball defeats Colorado State 80-59 in front of a sold out crowd

Claire Keener | The Arbiter

The Boise State Broncos men’s basketball team put on a show in front of a sold-out crowd at ExtraMile Arena on Jan. 28 as they beat the Colorado State Rams 80-59. 

Sophomore forward Tyson Degenhart proved to be the star of the show after having an almost perfect night. 

Degenhart led the Broncos in points with 22 and went 10-11 from the field. The 22 points from Degenhart makes this game his second best performance of the season.

Despite the incredibly sloppy start against Fresno State on Jan. 24, the Broncos shifted the narrative for the next match up.

It was raining threes inside the ExtraMile Arena for the Broncos to start the first half. 

In the first possession, redshirt senior guard Max Rice flushed a deep three with just seconds remaining on the shot clock. Next possession, Degenhart knocked down a three. 

Then, fifth-year forward Naje Smith wanted a piece of the action, as he strung together the sequence with another three-pointer. 

The threes just came rolling in the entire first half. 

Junior forward Chibuzo Agbo had the most threes of the half (3) while Max Rice trailed close behind with two of his own.  

Boise State went 7-10 from deep and was 71.4% from the field in the first half. 

The Rams had no response for the offensive juggernaut production. 

Going into half time, the Broncos led 44-29.

The Rams came out hot to start the second half and closed the gap to 51-45 with less than 15 minutes remaining.

Despite major success from deep in the first half, nothing seemed to be falling for the Broncos. 

In the second half, the Broncos went 4-14 from deep and just 50% from the field.  

Though the Broncos 80-59 win was thoroughly impressive, the lack of bench power was evident.

Throughout this season, the starting five lineup has been fairly consistent and reliable, despite occasional injuries. On the floor, Marcus Shaver Jr., Tyson Degenhart, Naje Smith, Max Rice and Chibuzo Agbo make up the starting lineup.

Though Boise State had a 39-19 lead in the first half, all but one starter was taken out of the game, Marcus Shaver Jr, and replaced by freshman guard Jace Whiting. 

During stretches without the entire starting lineup on the court, turnovers and unforced errors — including a back court violation by Whiting — were prominent. Offensive production of the starters seemed to struggle as well.

Whiting, Kobe Young and Burke Smith were among just three non-starting players who saw the court. 

“Everyone on our bench wants to play,” head coach Leon Rice said. “This isn’t charity. I am not going to hand out lollipops to everyone.” 

Between the three non-starters, only three points were scored amongst them, all coming from Whiting.

[Photo of fifth-year forward Naje Smith.]
Claire Keener | The Arbiter

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