“Not Done Yet”: Boise State defeats San Diego State 67-66 in a nail biter

The Boise State men’s basketball team had a sense of “deja-vu” as they knocked down conference foe San Diego State University (SDSU) at home in another nail biting Quad-1 win.

In what could be dubbed as unanimously the most anticipated home match of the season, the Broncos and the Aztecs did not disappoint and gave the fans exactly what they came to see. 

A rematch. 

After the historic 66-60 win over SDSU last season, the Broncos were cemented in the books as “the last team to beat the Aztecs” prior to them making the legendary run in the NCAA Tournament. 

With a conference foe and a hunger for bouncing back from a loss, the Broncos came out red hot. 

Going into the half, the Broncos held a 34-31 thanks in large part to the ten points from forward Omar Stanley in the first half. 

With a total of ten lead changes, the Aztecs led for just three minutes. The Aztecs outperformed the Broncos in fast breaks (16-3) and points off the bench (24-10), yet the Broncos found a way to hold off the conference foe. 

It wasn’t until late in the game when the Aztecs decided to rev up the engines and go on a 12-4 run over the final two minutes. Despite heavy efforts, the Aztecs could not eclipse the Broncos.

After a tough loss to University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), the Broncos were eager to show up for Bronco Nation in ExtraMile and reassure them that they are not a team to be messed with. 

In a powerful week of competition, the Broncos had no “gimme games”, with UNLV and SDSU in the same week, the Broncos had their work cut out for them. 

Though the 68-64 loss to UNLV put an immense amount of pressure on the SDSU matchup, the Broncos came out ferocious and fired up to restart a home winning streak. 

Junior forward Omar Stanley put on a show against SDSU, tallying 17 points to go along with one block, one steal and going 3-3 from behind the arc. 

“I feel like that’s always in the bag,” Stanley said about his three point shooting capabilities. “I’m more of a team player … I’m not really worried about scoring. I’ve been getting double teamed a lot, I haven’t been able to really get into paint like I’ve been wanting to … I’ve been working on that shot since I’ve been here so it’s not really anything new.” 

Since his arrival from St. Johns University, Stanley has been proven to be not only a defensive juggernaut but also a beastly scoring threat. His consistency from three leads his teammate Roddie Anderson to suggest he may just be the best player in the conference. 

“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. He’s the best player in the conference,” Anderson said. “I told him earlier in the game, ‘We got to take this personally because there’s lots of talk about people being the best but I just want everyone to show up’ … Omar’s a big piece of our team and when he’s in that mode, he’s attacking and he’s playing defense, I don’t think anyone could stop him.”

Though the Broncos played a much more cohesive game than the loss against UNLV, there is still much to improve upon. The strength and power in bench players still lacks a form of consistency and rebounding is often a weak spot when it comes to crucial moments. 

Though the win against SDSU accounts for yet another Quad-1 win, the Broncos are hungry for more. 

“We’re not done yet,” Stanley said. “We still got a chip on our shoulder … we’re not walking into any game privileged like we’ve done anything … We’re predators, we’re hungry.”

With the chaos that is college basketball and the immense competition that can be found in the Mountain West Conference, the Broncos will have a tough stretch until March. 

“They’re the key for us to be a great team,” head coach Leon Rice said about bench players. “We have to keep improving those guys and keep having them ready … there’s other guys that haven’t got the chance yet that can help this team.”

With a matchup against Utah State University looming on the horizon, the race for bench players to become more consistent is on. 

The Broncos will travel to Fresno, California to face Fresno State University on Jan. 23 and then will return to ExtraMile Arena to face Utah State University on Jan. 27.

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