In their first game since coming home from South Carolina, Boise State defeated Loyola Marymount 68-48 on Nov. 25. This win improves the Broncos record to 5-1 in the season.
Boise State struggled at the end of the first half and the beginning of the second half. They were down 40-34 with 14:18 left in the second half. Sophomore guard Marcus Dickinson then hit two three-point shots, tying the game at 40-40, leading Boise State to a scoring run of 33-4.
“In the first half we weren’t hitting shots at all and we usually rely on offense,” Dickinson said. “We had to play defense to compete.”
Senior guard and star player Chandler Hutchison did not play in this game, as he is still recovering from a head injury he received in the previous game against Iowa State. In his place, sophomore guard Justinian Jessup got the start, and led the Broncos with 22 points.
“I was really proud of our guys the way we battled the second half,” said head coach Leon Rice. “I think we got caught up a little in letting our missed shots affect our energy and enthusiasm and the way we played, we battled back through that and played a great second half.”
The team also out-rebounded Loyola. Loyola came into the game ranked number one nationally for offensive rebounding percentage, but were only able to get three offensive rebounds in the game. Redshirt junior forward Zach Haney and senior forward Chris Sengfelder led the team in rebounds with 10 a piece.
“Neither of them were making any shots tonight, but they got 20 boards and they absolutely nullified Loyola’s offensive rebounding,” Rice said.
The team started out shooting poorly, only shooting 25 percent from three in the first half.
“You can’t focus on (shooting poorly), my whole philosophy on this is the numbers will even out,” Rice said. “As long as we’re getting good shots, if they’re bad shots they won’t even out, but if you’re getting good shots they way we shoot the ball… they’re going to even out.”
Boise State spread the ball out with four different players in double digits (Dickinson, Jessup, sophomore guard Alex Hobbs and redshirt senior guard Lexus Williams).
“It’s Boise State basketball, when the ball pings around so quickly,” Rice said. “Scouting reports go out the window, that’s what so effective about good ball movement.”
Boise State will play 7-0 Loyola-Chicago Nov. 28 at Taco Bell Arena at 7 p.m. The game can be seen on the online streaming service Mountain West Network.