Monday, February 11, 2013.
Boise State’s combo wasn’t the highest-scoring one Saturday night, but it was the ultimate winner in the Broncos’ 68-61 victory over Wyoming in Taco Bell Arena. Anthony Drmic and Derrick Marks have been hot most of the season, often at the same time. They combined for 38 points in the win over the Cowboys, solidifying their status as the highest-scoring tandem in the Mountain West at 32½ points per game. Drmic put up 21 points, the ninth time this season he’s eclipsed 20. Marks added 17, getting off to an uncommonly good start with seven points in the first 10 minutes of the game. For Wyoming, it was all Leonard Washington and Derrious Gilmore, who combined for 44 points. In fact, Washington and Gilmore were the only Cowboys who scored in the first half.
Boise State now has a bye before testing New Mexico at The Pit this Saturday night. The rest has to do Jeff Elorriaga some good. The junior guard returned from his concussion layoff nine days ago against UNLV and played the entire 40 minutes against the Rebels—and again at San Diego State. Elorriaga got into early foul trouble against Wyoming, though, and came out of the game midway through the first half, ending a streak of 89 minutes and 58 seconds of continous floor time. He fouled out for the first time in his career with just under five minutes left in the game and didn’t score a point. Makes you wonder what a rejuvenated Elorriaga might be able to do against the Lobos.
Upsets are a way of life in the Mountain West this season. But then again, what is really an upset anymore in this conference? UNLV toppled No. 15 New Mexico 64-55 Saturday, but should we be surprised that the underachieveing Rebels, with their pride pummeled by back-to-back road losses at Boise State and Fresno State, should get well in the Thomas & Mack Center? And Air Force, a week after dropping San Diego State, was taken down by a late Nevada rally, 74-69. But the Wolf Pack was also repairing its pride after three straight losses—and it was at home as well.
The next area of focus for Boise State on the ol’ gridiron (beyond winter conditioning) is spring football starting March 11. “Oh my stars, we’ve got so much work to do,” said coach Chris Petersen during his press conference last Wednesday. Never heard Petersen say “oh my stars” before. He and the offensive staff are spending the offseason evaluating every piece of the Bronco offense. “Still moving through it—that process has begun,” Petersen said. “How do we get there? How do we evolve? I do think we’re in for a good tweaking.”
As an ode to all the overlooked players on National Letter of Intent Day, Matt Hinton of CBS Sports.com has come up with an All-Walk On Team, the best walk-ons in college football at each position over the past decade. Boise State landed one player on the 23-man list, defensive end Ryan Winterswyk. Writes Hinton: “Most of the credit for Boise's ascent went to the ultra-efficient offense, but the defense also ranked among the nation's best during Winterswyk's tenure. Initially pegged as a safety, Winterswyk emerged instead as a cornerstone on the line, where he led the team in tackles for loss as a redshirt freshman.” Winterswyk was amazing. He came in as a safety, left as a three-time All-WAC defensive end, and was signed into the NFL as a tight end.
After beating Utah 5-4 in Boise Friday and losing to the Grizzlies 5-4 in West Valley City Saturday, the Idaho Steelheads got their mojo going yesterday. The Steelheads blasted Utah 6-0, pelting netminder Shane Owen with 44 shots on goal, scoring in each period and going 3-for-8 on the power play. Tristan King, who knocked home the game-winner in overtime Friday night in CenturyLink Arena, had a five-point game yesterday, with two goals and three assists. And, as good as Josh Robinson has been between the pipes for the Steelies in his rookie season, yesterday was his first professional shutout. Robinson is now 17-5-2 for the campaign. The extraordinarily busy Steelheads are back at it tomorrow night and Wednesday when the San Francisco Bulls make their first-ever visit to Boise.
Break up the Idaho Stampede. How about four victories in the past five games? The Stampede swept a pair from the Santa Cruz Warriors over the weekend, capped by a 101-80 rout yesterday in CenturyLink Arena. The Stamps got strong performances off the bench, led by Justin Harper. Yesterday Harper recorded a double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds), and he just missed on Saturday night (17 points, nine rebounds). Former Boise State star Reggie Larry, signed by the Stampede Friday, shook off the cobwebs with 6½ minutes against the Warriors yesterday, going scoreless on 0-of-3 shooting from the field. Larry was released by the Stampede at the end of training camp in November and hadn’t played competitive basketball since.
It was Rod Jensen’s biggest win in his tenure at the College of Idaho. The Coyote men’s basketball team stunned Eastern Oregon, the top-ranked team virtually all season in NAIA Division II, 83-82 Saturday night in LaGrande. A layup by former Eagle Mustang Ben Van Lith with two seconds left was the game-winner. It was the fourth time in C of I history the Yotes have faced a No. 1 team—and the first time they have won.
Boise State campus notes: Nothing like a world record to draw attention to indoor track and field. Washington’s Jeremy Taiwo eclipsed the world standard in the heptathlon high jump Friday night during the Boise State Team Challenge at the Jacksons Indoor Track in Nampa, going 7’4½“. Taiwo went on to win the heptathlon with 6,156 points, the leading mark in the world this season. Taiwo’s total was the fifth-best ever by an American. Also, the second Beauty & The Beast event of the season yesterday was as kind as the first for the Broncos, with the women’s gymnastics team beating Seattle 196.30-191.325 and the wrestling squad routing Cal Poly 43-3.
This Day In Sports…February 11, 1970:
Elgin Baylor, the former College of Idaho star, and Jerry West score 43 points each for the L.A. Lakers—but it takes a 41-16 fourth quarter blitz to beat the Golden State Warriors, 125-115, in the Cow Palace. On the same evening, at the bottom of California Highway 1, the Atlanta Hawks score an NBA-record 97 second half points in a 155-131 win over the San Diego Rockets. That’s better than a four-points-per-minute pace.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)