Fresno State (7-7) at Boise State (10-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 4, 9 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Taco Bell Arena (12,380) -- Boise, Idaho. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: FSU 6-2, BSU 6-1. Away Record: FSU 1-4, BSU 2-1. Neutral Record: FSU 0-1, BSU 2-1. Conference Record: FSU 0-1, BSU 0-0. Series Record: Boise State leads, 18-15.
GAME NOTES: Back in action for the first time since taking part in the Diamond Head Classic out in Hawaii on Christmas Day, the Boise State Broncos finally tip off the Mountain West Conference portion of their schedule tonight against the Fresno State Bulldogs at Taco Bell Arena.
Boise State landed in Honolulu almost two weeks ago having lost two straight outings, but the team was able to topple both Hawaii (62-61) and South Carolina (80-54) in order to make it to the title game versus nationally- ranked Iowa State. Unfortunately, the Broncos ran out of gas in the final as they fell to the Cyclones, 70-66.
As for the Bulldogs, their league schedule got underway on Wednesday night with a 75-62 loss to UNLV at home. The setback was the fourth in the last five outings for the team, the lone victory coming against UC Merced at home last Saturday by a lopsided score of 104-43.
The Broncos lead the all-time series between these former members of the Western Athletic Conference by a count of 18-15. The squads will battle once more during the regular season near the end of next month in California.
The Bulldogs held UNLV to just 1-of-16 shooting behind the 3-point line earlier this week, but even that was not enough to keep Fresno State from falling into the loss column yet again. Marvelle Harris tried to save the day as he scored a game-high 25 points and pulled down seven rebounds but it failed to stem the tide. Cezar Guerrero accounted for 16 points, eight assists, five rebounds and three blocked shots in the losing cause for a team that shot only 4-of-17 beyond the arc.
On a team that is posting 75.2 ppg, Harris is leading a quartet of double- digit scorers with his 16.6 ppg, placing second on the unit in rebounding as well with 5.4 rpg. Guerrero, who has the most 3-pointers with 27 on 76 attempts, not only contributes 14.1 ppg to the attack, he is also the top passer with 64 assists and tops with 23 steals as he shows his quick hands at the defensive end of the floor as well.
Boise State led by seven at the break against Iowa State and by as many as 11 overall in their meeting on Christmas Day, but the Broncos couldn't stop the Cyclones from knocking down 6-of-13 beyond the arc in the second half and an even 50 percent from the floor in the period. Derrick Marks gave it his all for BSU as he tallied 23 points, while Anthony Drmic pitched in with 16 points before fouling out for a team that was outscored at the free-throw line, 20-9.
One of the top offensive teams in the country these days, the Broncos are pouring out 82.5 ppg on the strength of 40.0 percent shooting behind the 3- point line and a 62-point advantage at the charity stripe. Drmic is responsible for 19.5 ppg, followed by Marks with 16.3 ppg, although he has shown that settling for perimeter shots (5-of-18) is not his best approach. Jeff Elorriaga (11.4 ppg) picks up the slack on the outside with his stunning 39-of-68 (.574) effort.
As long as the Broncos are able to fire up the offense once again and keep Harris from having a big game, they should be able to put another tally in the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 81, Fresno State 68
01/04 10:37:42 ET