Boise State (10-2) at Texas-Arlington (6-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 2, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: College Park Center (7,000) -- Arlington, Texas. Television: None. Home Record: BSU 6-0, UTA 2-2. Away Record: BSU 2-2, UTA 4-2. Neutral Record: BSU 2-0, UTA 0-0. Conference Record: BSU 0-0, UTA 1-1. Series Record: Boise State leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: A former member of the Western Athletic Conference goes up against one of the newest additions to the league on Wednesday, as the Boise State Broncos pay a visit to the Mavericks of Texas-Arlington.
Boise State, which currently operates in the Mountain West Conference and, at least for basketball, was scheduled to move to the Big West after this season, decided on Monday to remain in the MWC which means it might be playing a team like UTA more frequently in the future.
In terms of the 2012-13 campaign, the Broncos are off to a 10-2 start, winning four straight and seven of the last eight outings overall. The team was pitted against little-known Corban College, a school that competes at the NAIA level, on Sunday and blew the doors off the Warriors in a 105-49 final to help pad some stats.
As for the Mavericks, they were in action on New Year's Eve against another new member of the WAC, Denver, and came up very short in a 50-35 setback at home. The loss was the second in the last three games for a UTA team that hadn't played such a poor offensive game since losing to SMU by a score of 36-31 back in 1989.
Boise State won the only previous meeting between these two programs, a 71-64 final in Idaho back in 1985.
Jeff Elorriaga took control of the offense for the Broncos against Corban over the weekend, connecting on 10-of-16 shots from behind the 3-point line, setting a school and Mountain West Conference record for 3-pointers in a single game, and logging the high for any player in the NCAA so far this season as he finished with 30 points. Kenny Buckner came off the bench to register a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds in a mere 19 minutes of action, while Anthony Drmic and Joe Hanstad tacked on 11 and 10 points, respectively, combining for 11 of the unit's 24 assists as well. Now shooting 45.6 percent beyond the arc this season, Elorriaga is third on the team in scoring with 10.4. ppg, trailing only Derrick Marks (17.9 ppg) and Drmic (15.3 ppg) on a squad that is now producing an average of 78.2 ppg after the huge burst against the Warriors.
The Mavericks used a 10-3 run early in the first half against Denver to take the lead on Monday, but the team then fell apart, scoring just seven more points over the final 14 minutes of the period and then converting 27.7 percent from the floor for the entire game. UTA didn't have a single player reach double figures, with Karol Gruszecki coming closest with eight points as he shot 3-of-8 from the floor. Unfortunately, the remaining four starters combined to hit a feeble 6-of-30 from the field. The Mavs ended up with just 13 field goals, compared to 18 turnovers. Low-scoring affairs are not entirely new to the Mavericks, seeing as how they are averaging just 60.0 ppg through 10 outings and holding the competition to only 57.4 ppg in those dates as well. Kevin Butler stands as the lone double-digit scorer with his 10.3 ppg, while Jordan Reves comes close to averaging a double-double with 9.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per outing.
An interesting dichotomy between these two teams, the Mavericks are coming off their worst showing in more than two decades and Boise State hit for triple figures in the last outing, so picking a winning side in this matchup shouldn't be too difficult.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 82, Texas-Arlington 60
01/02 10:32:03 ET