Boise State (14-4) at Nevada (10-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 26, 4 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lawlor Events Center (11,536) -- Reno, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: Boise State 8-1, Nevada 8-3. Away Record: Boise State 4-3, Nevada 2-5. Neutral Record: Boise State 2-0, Nevada 0-0. Conference Record: Boise State 2-2, Nevada 1-3. Series Record: Nevada leads, 38-21.
GAME NOTES: The Boise State Broncos shoot for a second straight win over a former Western Athletic Conference foe on Saturday afternoon, as the team clashes with the Nevada Wolf Pack at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno.
League rivals in a fourth different conference now, Boise State and Nevada also clashed as members of the Big West and the Big Sky before dueling for almost a decade in the WAC before moving over to the Mountain West Conference, which is where they are now.
On Wednesday night, the Broncos took on Fresno State, a team which has also made the jump from the MWC to the WAC beginning this season, and captured a 74-67 triumph. The win snapped a brief two-game slide by BSU and evened the squad's league mark at 2-2.
As for the Wolf Pack, they too were in action three nights ago against San Diego State at home, but in that case they were taken down hard in a 78-57 final. The loss was the fourth in five games for the group, and now it is just 1-3 in league action.
Boise State won the last meeting in Reno between these two programs in 2011 with a 72-66 triumph, but still the Broncos trail in the all-time series by a count of 38-21.
The Broncos set a new team and conference record for accuracy at the free- throw line on Wednesday night as the squad was a perfect 26-of-26 at the charity stripe in the win over Fresno State. Derrick Marks stepped to the line 12 times for BSU and finished with a game-high 30 points, followed by Anthony Drmic (23 points) and Ryan Watkins who delivered a double-double with 10 points and a game-best 18 boards as the team survived just 38.2 percent shooting from the field and a 10-of-17 effort by the Bulldogs beyond the arc. Marks, who has connected on 100-of-115 tries at the line, is pouring in 17.8 ppg even as he leads the group in assists with 64. Drmic (15.9 ppg) teams with Jeff Elorriaga (11.4 ppg) to form a potent attack out on the perimeter where the duo has combined to make 106-of-230 attempts and that has led the team as a whole to 42.1 percent from beyond the arc.
Trailing by just a single point at intermission against visiting San Diego State a few nights back, the Pack figured to be in contention for a possible upset win, but that was before the squad was limited to just six field goals in the final 20 minutes of action. Malik Story accounted for a team-best 17 points, Jerry Evans kicked in another 14 and Deonte Burton 12 points to go along with six assists, although the latter shot only 2-of-11 from the floor on the night. Going with a four-guard lineup, Nevada was beaten on the glass, 38-29. Burton (16.6 ppg) and Story (15.8 ppg) have both started all 85 career games in which they have played for Nevada and while they have had their ups and downs this season, the fact remains that they give the Pack their best shot at winning, at least when they are both playing well.
If either Story or Burton is not hitting his shots then the Wolf Pack will struggle to be competitive. Unfortunately, that seems to be all too common these days for Nevada, which opens the door for the Broncos on Saturday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 71, Nevada 63
01/26 11:02:19 ET