Tuesday, February 18, 2014.
In the wake of Boise State’s milestone win over New Mexico last Wednesday, we go to the circle game, Colorado State edition. The Rams beat Air Force, who went to the Thomas and Mack Center and beat UNLV, who went to the Spectrum and topped Utah State…well, we can stop right there. Boise State has never beaten UNLV in Las Vegas, nor has it defeated Utah State in Logan. Lesser-known fact: the Broncos have never won in Fort Collins. They try to break the 0-6 skein against Colorado State tonight, knowing that last year at CSU they suffered their only 20-point loss in conference play since joining the Mountain West, 77-57. Boise State is going to have to be on its A-game yet again.
Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy, the one-time Idaho coach, has had to rebuild the Rams from the ground up after their run to the NCAA Tournament last year. And it’s been a bit interesting in the chemistry department. One of the cornerstones of the new-look CSU squad is junior guard Daniel Bejarano, a transfer from Arizona who leads the team in scoring in Mountain West play at 18½ points per game. At San Diego State 2½ weeks ago, Bejarano had to be restrained by teammates during a time out while arguing and lunging toward Eustachy. Bejarano was benched just three minutes into the game, with Eustachy remarking that “he has a lot of growing up to do.” Four days later, Bejarano had 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in 37 minutes during a 75-57 home blowout win over UNLV.
Boise State’s Anthony Drmic seems to have re-booted after a tough six-game stretch in Mountain West play. After scraping together 12 points per game during a lull in which he went just 21-for-56 from the field and 11-for-31 from three-point range, Drmic has averaged 22 points in his last two outings against Utah State and New Mexico. His patented set shot from three-point range is finding the bottom of the net again, as Drmic has made eight of his 14 attempts from beyond the arc the past two games. And he's flying to the hoop the way he was earlier in the season, as evidenced by his dramatically-improved shooting from the field (15-for-26). Getting to the free throw line more in those situations will be key down the stretch.
Kirby Moore has beaten brother Kellen into the coaching profession. Kirby was one of four recent Boise State graduates announced yesterday as members of Mike Moroski’s College of Idaho coaching staff. Moore, who just finished his Bronco career as a productive and technically-sound wide receiver, will coach that position for the Coyotes in spring football. Joining him will be Boise State alums Spencer Gerke, Kharyee Marshall and Dustin Kamper.
The C of I is proving its reinstatement of football is having the desired effect around the state. The Coyotes announced the signing of 12 more players yesterday, 10 of them Idahoans. Where would these guys be going were it not for this opportunity with the Yotes? Highlighting the group is Beau White, a 5A All-State selection from Mountain View High. The six-foot defensive back had eight interceptions as a senior and holds the Mavericks’ school record with 18 career picks. The return of C of I football is now less than seven months away after a 37-year absence.
It’s all Utah all the time this week for the Idaho Steelheads. The stretch started with a President’s Day matinee in West Valley City. Going into the game, the Steelheads had scored 60 third period goals, the most in any period by an ECHL team this season. They did it again yesterday, snapping a 1-1 tie with two goals in the final stanza to beat Utah, 3-2. It was the Mitch Wahl-and-Brock Montgomery show in the third period, as Montgomery assisted on Wahl’s goal two minutes in—then Wahl got the helper on Montgomery’s game-winning tally with 11:46 left in the game. The Steelheads are now 20-1-1 when scoring three or more goals. Idaho faces the Grizzlies again tomorrow and Friday on the road before hosting them Saturday at CenturyLink Arena.
Winter Olympics time. It was a disappointing result for former Boise State track and field captain Nick Cunningham yesterday at Sochi. Driving the USA-3 bobsled, Cunningham and brakeman Dallas Robinson finished 13th in the two-man bobsled event. Not only did the US women’s hockey team outshoot Sweden by an unfathomable 70-9 in a 6-1 victory yesterday, Sun Valley’s Hilary Knight did herself, unleashing 12 shots on goal. Ironically, it was the first time in the Olympic tournament Knight didn’t score. The Americans face bitter rival Canada for the gold medal on Thursday. And Sun Valley’s Jasmine Campbell, competing for the US Virgin Islands, finished 56th in her Olympic debut today in the giant slalom.
Sandpoint’s Nate Holland had to wait for his shot in snowboardcross. Competition was delayed by fog yesterday, eliminating the seeding runs. “When I first inspected the course, you think what you’re going to do off these features and you can’t see anything," Holland said. "You’d have to ride by braille.” The event was moved to this morning and began with the round of 16. Holland professed to be ready. "It's time to drop the hammer and the sickle on this course." Unfortuntately, the hammer was dropped on Holland—he was eliminated in his opening heat.
At the very least, the Idaho Stampede have some individual momentum going into tomorrow night’s home date against the Maine Red Claws. Stampede star Pierre Jackson, the D-League’s top-rated NBA prospect, will be back from a rather exhilarating trip to New Orleans, home of the Pelicans team that holds his NBA rights. Jackson scored 33 points to lead the Futures team in the D-League All-Star Game, and he was surprised to be recognized often by locals during his stay in the city of New Orleans. Jackson’s Stampede teammate, Dee Bost, was on the other side Saturday and dished out seven assists for the victorious Futures team. And the Stamps’ EJ Singler won the Three-Point Competition in a tiebreaker.
The only thing standing between Boise’s Brian Scott and the main field of the Daytona 500 is the Budweiser Duel on Thursday. There are two phases of the event, and Scott will start sixth among 24 cars in the second heat. If he finishes in the top 15, he’s in. Scott’s performance in qualifying over the weekend bodes well for him—he recorded the 12th-fastest speed on the Daytona track at 194.776 miles per hour.
Other campus doings: The massive storm in the Northeast prevented Boise State’s Emma Bates from getting back to the Millrose Games in New York, so she made her way to the prestigious Husky Classic in Seattle Saturday. Bates finished 10th in the invitational 3,000-meter run, recording a time of 9:19.08. College of Idaho star Hillary Holt was also at the Husky Classic and was sixth in the mile in Seattle, positing a 4:36.96, the best time (by 20 seconds) in the NAIA this season. She then won the 3,000 meters at the UW Invitational the next day, running a school record 9:27.25. And the Coyotes men’s basketball team is relishing its first berth in the NAIA Division II National Championships since 2007 after beating Corban 80-75 in overtime on the road Saturday. The Yotes also have their first outright Cascade Conference title in 10 years.
This Day In Sports…February 18, 1979:
Boise State’s last 40-point game, as guard Carl Powell scores exactly that in a 98-87 loss to Idaho State in old Bronco Gym. All of Powell’s points came from the field as he set a school record for field goals with 20. And many of his baskets were from long-range—before the days of the three-pointer. Powell outdueled the nation’s leading Division I scorer that night, Lawrence Butler, who scored 39 for the Bengals. The closest a Bronco has come to 40 since were 39-point games by Tanoka Beard in 1993 and Derrick Marks last November.
(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.)