Basketball Roundup: Boise State Basketball recap (Jan. 22 – 28)

Photo by Taya Power-Thornton

The Boise State basketball teams had a whirlwind of a week. 

Here is a look at their weekly games, where both teams stand and what is next for them…


After holding off Fresno State University 71-68 on Jan. 22, they were unable to lock in a much needed win over Utah State University at ExtraMile on Jan. 27 as they fell in a heartbreaking overtime loss 92-84.

Fresno, a team that is ranked dead last in the Mountain West standings, nearly beat a Bronco team that is in the running for first place in MW standings. 

Max Rice and Chibuzo Agbo both putting up 16 points and O’Mar Stanley rounding out the trifecta with 14 of his own, the Broncos barely scathed what could have been a detrimental loss. 

“Flipping the momentum when you’re down near the end is hard to do, especially on the road,” head coach Leon Rice said. “We had to step back, be calm and trust our vets. We started moving the ball around, attacking the glass and that’s what won it for us.”

With the win, the Boise State Broncos moved into a tie with Utah State University at the top of the MW standings, making it perfect time for the matchup on Saturday afternoon.

On Saturday afternoon, ExtraMile was packed to the rim with fans, 12,058 of them to be exact, to watch the Broncos face the Aggies, ranked No. 18 in the nation. 

Boise State started off incredibly slow against Utah State, trailing by as many as eight early in the first half. Though the Broncos trailed early, they were able to create a significant amount of momentum leading into halftime.

The Broncos regained a 39-37 lead entering the half, which is not tremendous separation especially when facing a No. 18 ranked team in the nation.

The Broncos however, showed many signs of weaknesses throughout the course of the matchup.

With missed free throw opportunities and unforced turnover errors, the Broncos found themselves in a rut.

Despite Utah State’s 48.3% field goal percentage on the night, the Broncos were somehow able to hold the Aggies and retain a lead going into the final minute of the matchup. 

With Stanley at the line for the Broncos and a 76-74 lead, shooting his second of two free throws with about four seconds left on the clock, the fans were ready to storm the court and celebrate a hard earned yet well deserved victory. 

However, the script flipped incredibly fast. 

Stanley missed his last free throw opportunity and Aggie Ian Martinez took full advantage as he took it down the floor and banked a layup to tie the game 76-76 forcing overtime. 

“It was tough,” Leon Rice said. “The way O’Mar has been drilling those clutch free throws, there’s nobody else that you’d rather have at the line and kind of just went in and out … you gotta give Martinez credit … great play by that kid.”

In overtime, the Broncos were sorely outperformed and shot just 2-10 and completely disregarded playing with haste and urgency as time dwindled from the clock.

Tyson Degenhart led the team with 24 points, while Stanley trailed closely behind with 20 points. 

Despite coaching efforts by Leon Rice to incorporate a multitude of different players to the lineup, it seems as though the starting five is a tried and true group of leaders that are seemingly the only Broncos who can create production on the court.

In the last minutes of overtime, controversial coaching moves led to a slower offensive paced Jace Whiting replacing a fast and dominant Roddie Anderson. 

Leon Rice attempted to incorporate redshirt sophomore guard RJ Keene, freshman forward Andrew Meadow and forward Cam Martin into the mix. However, between the three bench players, there were only two points produced, both coming from free throw attempts by Martin. 

With each starting five player recording more than 25 minutes each and upwards of 40 minutes, by Agbo, bench players have still yet to step up and take a load off the shoulders of the starting five, leading to weary and slow play in crucial moments. 

The Broncos now sit with a 5-2 record in the MW, sharing the second slot of the standings with San Diego State University and University of New Mexico. 

“When you’re playing a great league with great teams, it’s just a fine line,” Leon Rice said. “It’s going to be one or two plays .. we have to be able to bounce back … out of the frying pan in the fire.” 

The Broncos will head to Albuquerque, New Mexico to face the No. 25 University of New Mexico (UNM) who is debatably playing some of the best basketball in the Mountain West conference.

In order to not repeat history, the Broncos bench must improve, pace of play needs to be sped up and Max Rice needs to be much more reliable in order to have the chance to compete against an incredibly tough Mountain West conference. 

Whiting, though a force on defense, does not play with urgency. Slowing down an already slower paced offense, leaving more chances for opponents to get set and ready for any potential threat the Broncos have. 

Some of the top Mountain West teams (Utah State, UNLV, UNM and SDSU) play with speed and tenacity that the Broncos currently cannot handle and do not have a response to. If Leon Rice wants to secure his third conference championship, there needs to be a shift in pace of play. 


Boise State women’s basketball squad had a tough week of losses as they fell in contests against University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV) and San Diego State University (SDSU).

The Lady Broncos could not seem to get anything going in their matchup against a strong UNLV team at ExtraMile Arena on Jan. 24, falling 84-63.

Natalie Pasco led the way for the Broncos scoring 21 points, while Maya Hansen (12) and Dani Bayes (10) followed Pasco in scoring.

UNLV seemed to have their way with the Lady Broncos, as the Lady Rebels stretched their lead to 21 points to create a 60-39 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Though UNLV had a dominant lead, the Broncos tried to create some momentum with a 13-4 run of their own. However, UNLV’s power was far too strong for the Broncos to handle. UNLV responded with their own 11-3 run to solidify a dominant victory over the Broncos.

To close out their weekend the Broncos headed to San Diego State University on Jan. 27 and fell to the Aztecs 79-54, concluding what was a tough week for the Broncos.

San Diego State came out at halftime on absolute fire, racking up 14 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter and ending it on a 12-5 run taking a 58-35 advantage going into the final quarter.

Much like the UNLV game, the Broncos were unable to dig themselves out of a deep deficit.

Despite a tumultuous week, Pasco has been a dominant player for the Broncos, putting up 36 total points on the week with 21 coming against UNLV and 15 coming from her game against San Diego State. Pasco not only led her team in points, but she now has surpassed 200 career field goals. 

Despite what was a convincing start to the season, the Broncos seem to have let off the gas in the past few games. 

Abby Muse, a Bronco Nation favorite and a highly respected defensive player, has been a force to be reckoned with. Averaging eight points and tallying an impressive 69 blocks in the 21 games played, Muse has been slowly coming out of a lull.  

The team now holds a 4-2 conference record and a 13-8 overall record, and sits in seventh place in the Mountain West standings. With the Broncos slated to face Fresno State University on Jan. 31 in Fresno, Calif. The Broncos can notch a win and get back on pace. 

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