Boise State Men’s Basketball on hot winning streak after beating Airforce and University of New Mexico

Boise State Men's Basketball Photo by Niamh Brennan

The men’s Boise State basketball team had themselves a week and there seems to be no slowing down. 

Ever since the home loss against Utah State University, there seems to be something in the air for the Broncos — a sense of comeback and rejuvenating determination. 

“We put ourselves in a great position,” junior forward Tyson Degenhart said. “I know we dropped the two games at home but those are learning experiences for us.”

This week, the Broncos headed to The Pit to face formerly No. 19 ranked  University of New Mexico (UNM) and put on an absolute clinic to take down their second ranked team of the season, 86-78. 

In one of the most hostile environments, the Broncos proved to everyone that they are no joke. 

After what has been an underwhelmingly slow start to the season for sixth-year guard Max Rice, he bounced back to lead the Broncos to victory with his 35 points, five assists and tying his career high seven made three-pointers. 

If the Broncos were to have a LinkedIn, their resume would be top tier.

This week the Broncos not only solidified a win against UNM on Jan. 31, they demolished an Air Force team that can at times be dubbed a ‘trap game’. 

“100% it was a trap game,” Chibuzo Agbo said. “I think just the way we prepared … the coaching staff had us ready to go.”

Just as Max Rice had a career game on Wednesday, Degenhart led the brigade for the Bronco squad, tallying 29 points on the night he took control of the offense and also didn’t miss a single shot from the field in the first half, going a perfect 6-6. 

“We have six or seven guys that can lead us in scoring any given night,” Degenhart said. “Max’s was Wednesday. Mine was today. Who knows who it’s going to be on Tuesday? So that’s where we play the game we’re going to find the open man and get them shots.”

Not only was Degenhart on fire, but Agbo and O’Mar Stanley also rounded it out with 14 points each.

“It felt like we’re just sharing the ball,” Agbo said. “We’re just having a really good time out there.”

A team that has struggled in dispersing the ball and finding different key players on any given night, seems to have finally settled into a style of play that is not only effective, but gives the Broncos a fighting chance to win a conference title.

Against a team that relies heavily on back cut plays, the Broncos were able to hold the Falcons to just 35% shooting from the field. 

Not only was the Broncos defense locked in, but the wealth was spread around and more bench players were incorporated into the game than in previously before. Granted, the Broncos were up by a substantial amount, but the redshirt-sophomore guard, Kobe Young, was much to thanks for a dominant run to close the first half. 

“I want to give a big shout to Kobe Young,” Degenhart said. “He came in just 27-27 and we ended the half on a 15 point run because of him … just want to give a big shout to him. He made a huge change in the game for us.”

Not only did Young help lead the Broncos to a close out in the first half, he also proved himself worthy of the starting spot to start the second half. 

“That’s such a credit to Kobe,” head coach Leon Rice said. “It’s so impressive … this kid shows up with an amazing attitude every day … we have a lot of good players … but to have a guy that just plugs away and plugs away and plugs away.” 

With an explosive and dominating 94-56 win, the Broncos now share the number one spot with Utah State University in the Mountain West rankings. 

The Broncos, now half way through the season, still have incredible competition in front of them. 

Though they have had dominating wins against ranked teams, the Broncos mentality is always ‘whats next?’

“I think for us it’s just coming into practice with the mindset to get better,” Degenhart said about being prepared for what’s next. “Coaches know how much of a toll it puts on your body, playing in the Mountain West … they really push us each day to maximize how much time we have on the court and make sure we get our reps in.” 

The Broncos do not return home to ExtraMile until Feb. 17 and are slated for a tough week of games against Colorado State University and No. 17 Utah State University. 

“It’s a little bit tiring,” Agbo said about their season. “It just shows you got to be really locked in right now … the most important part of our season right here, you can’t drop any games and we have to go get a couple more … just taking a second and realizing where you are and realizing this is a very important part of our season right now.”

The Broncos will face Colorado State University in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Feb. 6, and look to go 2-0 against the Rams for the season.

Leave a Reply