BOISE, Idaho — The Boise State men’s basketball team proved something to themselves their last time out: They can play bad and still win big.
The Broncos managed to beat Fresno State 63-53 on Tuesday, despite turning the ball over a season-high 19 times. It marked just the second time in the Leon Rice Era that they turned the ball over as many times but still managed to beat a Mountain West opponent by double-digits.
In NCAA games involving two DI teams this year:
- It’s the 20th time a team has committed 19 turnovers and held an opponent to 53 points or less.
- It’s the 71st time a team has committed 19 and won by double-digits.
“It’s always about the response for us. You’re going to have tough days,” head coach Leon Rice said. “We were fortunate to be able to get the win through all those mistakes, so that’s a sign of a good team.”
THE GAME S(H)AVER
Senior guard Marcus Shaver Jr. scored 16 points against Fresno State on Tuesday, his most in a game since he went for 22 points in the Mountain West opener at Nevada back on Dec. 28. The Broncos are now 17-4 all-time when Shaver scores at least 16 points in a game.
Half of his damage came at the free-throw line against the Bulldogs. He connected on all his game-high eight free-throw attempts. The Broncos are now 11-2 all-time when Shaver gets to the line at least eight times in a game.
PEAK OF THE MOUNTAIN
Sure, his shooting percentage isn't where he wants it, but it's hard to dismiss that Shaver is having one of the best all-around seasons in the Mountain West. So far, he's the only player in the conference with 200+ points, 100+ rebounds, 50+ assists and 25+ steals this season.
It's the second-straight season that Shaver has eclipsed all those marks. The only other Broncos to do it multiple times in their respective careers during the Leon Rice Era:
- Anthony Drmic (2011-12, 2013-14)
- Chandler Hutchison (2016-17, 2017-18)
- Justinian Jessup (2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20)
- Abu Kigab (2020-21, 2021-22)
- Derrick Marks (2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15)
Shaver became the 29th active player in the NCAA to surpass 1,800 career points in the Broncos' win. He scored 868 points at the University of Portland before transferring and adding 947 more to his total as a member of the Broncos.
With at least 12 games left - 10 in the regular season, one in at the Mountain West Tournament and one in a postseason tournament - the 2,000 Point Club is within reach. Here is what Shaver would have to average in order to get there:
- 12 games: 15.4
- 13 games: 14.2
- 14 games: 13.2
Shaver currently averages 13.5 points per game on the season, which ranks second on the team.
Senior guard Max Rice continues to be one of the more lethal shooters in the country. He went 3-for-3 on Tuesday, as the Broncos improved to 12-1 when Rice makes multiple threes this season. (That leaves them just 4-4 when he's limited to anything less.)
380 NCAA players have attempted at least 35 threes during the month of January.
Amongst that group, Rice ranks:
- 3rd in 3-PT FG% (56.4%)
- T-29th in 3-PT FG made (22)
As good as he’s been of late, his entire body of work is just as impressive. There are only eight players in the NCAA shooting 90% from the free-throw line, 45% from the field, and 40% from three with at least 10 starts this season.
Max Rice is one of them, and he’s played more minutes than any of them.
TURN OF EVENTS
Rice turned the ball over a career-high seven time against Fresno State.
How uncommon was that performance?
It almost doubled his previous single-game career-high of four (a total he’s only hit once previously), and it matches the number he had over the previous 178 minutes, 38 seconds of game action.
Texas Tech transfer Chibuzo Agbo went 3-for-5 from three the last time out for the Broncos. It was his team-leading ninth game with three-or-more threes this season. By the way, Boise State is 8-1 in those games.
Agbo, in his first full season as a starter at the collegiate level, has been extremely consistent since Mountain West play started. He’s average 12.8 points per game, has scored in double-figures in seven of eight games, and is shooting 50% from three in league games so far.
A (NEAR) PERFECT 10
When Agbo scores at least 10 points in a game, the Broncos are 12-2 this season, including 6-1 in Mountain West play.
Watch more Boise State Basketball:
See all of our Boise State basketball coverage in our YouTube playlist:
KTVB is now on Roku and Amazon Fire TVs. Download the apps today for live newscasts and video on demand.