The Battle for First: Boise State overpowered by San Diego State in 52-72 loss

Corissa Campbell | The Arbiter

Boise State failed to reclaim the top spot in the Mountain West as No. 22 San Diego routed them 52-72 on Feb. 3.

The two Mountain West conference foes battled for the sole title of first place in the Mountain West. With both teams sitting at 8-2 in the division, the game would decide who would regain control. 

However, no one ever said reclaiming the top spot would be easy. 

Despite the Broncos having had a three-game winning streak against the San Diego Aztecs, the lack in bench power and weak offensive display proved to be the source of contention. 

The halftime stats were underwhelming and messy all on its own. 

Both teams had a bountiful amount of unforced errors, unprecedented turnovers and multiple players in foul trouble. 

The only question was, which team was messier? 

The Broncos were 9-27 (33%) from field goal range, 0-7 from behind the arc with nine turnovers in the half. 

San Diego State did not have an overwhelmingly impressive first half statline either.

Despite going 16-31 (51%) from the field and 3-10 from three, the Aztecs had a 43-21 lead to enter half time. 

The Broncos played a game that was shaped by injuries and an underdeveloped bench.

The Broncos starting lineup has been consistent for most of the season with Naje Smith, Tyson Degenhart, Max Rice, Chibuzo Agbo and Marcus Shaver Jr. taking the starting slots. 

As fifth-year point guard Marcus Shaver Jr. was out for the night’s game due to an injury, the starting five looked a little different than before. 

Jace Whiting took over as starting point guard for the absent Shaver, as a multitude of new names were on display on the court. 

In one of the most crucial games of the season so far, the lineup primarily consisted of inexperienced players. 

The first half saw a total of 10 different players on the court for the Broncos. 

Pavle Kuzmanovic, Mohamed Syla, Lukas Milner, Burke Smith, Kobe Young and Sadraque NgaNga were the new names on the court. 

Combined, the bench scored 16 of the 52 total points for the Broncos. Kuzmanovic led the bench with a total of eight points on the night. 

Despite the sunny San Diego weather, the Broncos couldn’t see the light.

One of the more formidable Broncos, Max Rice, went just 0-5 from deep. Even though he is averaging 43% from deep on the season, nothing would fall his way. 

Chibuzo Agbo, the San Diego native, averages 11.7 points a game on the season, yet couldn’t make anything happen on the floor either. 

Agbo garnered just nine points on the night, going 2-7 from the field and 0-3 from deep. 

The Broncos were down by as much as 38-62 in the second half. 

With this loss, the Broncos fall to 8-3 in the conference and will be amongst Utah State and Nevada in second place in the standings. 

The Broncos next game will be at Extra Mile Arena on Feb. 11 as they take on Wyoming. 

[Photo of men’s basketball forward Tyson Degenhart.]
Corissa Campbell | The Arbiter