Boise State (11-5) at Nevada (9-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 14, 10:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lawlor Events Center (11,536) -- Reno, Nevada.
Television: MWN. Home Record: BSU 7-2, Nevada 4-4. Away Record: BSU 2-2,
Nevada 5-2. Neutral Record: BSU 2-1, Nevada 0-2. Conference Record: BSU 1-2,
Nevada 4-0. Series Record: Nevada leads, 39-22.
GAME NOTES: A couple of former Western Athletic Conference members get
together in Reno, as the Nevada Wolf Pack clash with the Boise State Broncos
in Mountain West Conference action on Tuesday night.
Despite being just 4-4 at home this season and one game over .500 overall, the
Wolf Pack enter the week with the best record in MWC play at 4-0. One of just
three MWC programs that has yet to drop a league outing, Nevada is enjoying a
four-game win streak and has taken five of the last six contests overall
thanks to a 62-54 victory versus Utah State at home on Saturday.
Sporting a record of just 3-13 in MWC play last season, the Pack has already
topped its win total in conference play.
As for the Broncos, they kicked off the 2013-14 campaign with eight straight
wins, but since then they've turned in a 3-5 performance and are now only 1-2
in conference after losing at the last second to Wyoming over the weekend at
Taco Bell Arena, 52-50. The defeat was the second in a row and the third in
four tries for the program.
Nevada, which will travel to Boise State near the end of the regular season to
complete this year's series, owns a 39-22 advantage in the relationship
overall, although the programs have split the last four matchups.
Ahead by as many as nine points with just under nine minutes remaining in the
second half, the Broncos saw their advantage dwindle and then completely
disappear as Wyoming's Larry Nance Jr' converted a jumper in the waning
moments to steal away the two-point decision. Anthony Drmic led the offense
for BSU with 20 points, adding seven rebounds, while Ryan Watkins nearly
pulled off a double-double with 15 points and nine boards before fouling out
for a group that shot just 32.0 percent from the field and 3-of-17 behind the
Scoring 19.3 ppg, Drmic is clearly the offensive force for the Broncos this
season, while Marks lends ample support with 15.2 ppg and is first in the
passing department with 45 assists, adding a team-best 28 steals as well.
Watkins (10.3 ppg), a 55.7 percent shooter from the floor, is responsible for
a team-high 9.3 rpg and accounts for close to half of the unit's 36 blocked
shots with 17 rejections, but clearly the group needs more of an interior
presence on defense.
It was the Nevada defense that stole the headlines during the meeting with
Utah State as they limited the Aggies to only 31.3 percent shooting from the
floor and 2-of-16 out on the perimeter. The offense for the Wolf Pack did just
enough to get by as Cole Huff tallied 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting beyond the
arc, followed by Deonte Burton with 14 points and five of the squad's eight
assists. AJ West pitched in with 11 points, seven rebounds and three blocked
shots as the group survived with just 5-of-18 shooting out on the perimeter.
While he was held far below his season scoring average, Burton is still the
clear-cut leader on the Nevada offense this year with his 21.8 ppg, even
though he is shooting just 33.0 percent beyond the arc. In addition to taking
care of his own scoring needs, Burton is also keen on keeping his teammates
involved in the offense, responding with a team-best 64 assists. Jerry Evans
checks in with 12.8 ppg and not far behind is Michael Perez with his 12.1 ppg,
thanks largely to his 31 triples through 17 games.
The Broncos haven't spent all that much time on the road this season, which
might be a good thing for Nevada since the hosts are still trying to establish
themselves in their own building.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Nevada 69, Boise State 66
01/14 10:33:07 ET
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