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Boise State keeps Mountain West lead with win vs Utah State


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Boise State redshirt senior Marcus Shaver Jr. reacts to sinking a jump shot just before the halftime buzzer Saturday at ExtraMile Arena.

Boise State Athletics

As the clock neared 2 minutes to play, Utah State coach Ryan Odom shouted to his players to get up on defense.

Odom had good reason to be concerned.

A month after Marcus Shaver Jr.’s buzzer beater lifted Boise State over Utah State in Logan, Shaver sank a dagger 3-pointer in the Broncos’ 68-57 victory over the Aggies on Saturday at ExtraMile Arena.

The shot clearly irked Odom, who threw his hands up in disgust and shortly thereafter had an exchange with Boise State redshirt junior Max Rice that prompted coach Leon Rice to step in and presumably defend his son.

When your team is playing as well as the first-place Broncos, it’s easy to get under an opponent’s skin.

“I don’t know, I think he was just telling me great game,” Leon Rice said of Odom. “I’m not sure I heard him right, so I kind of went down there. The heat of the battle, this is a tough deal. There’s stuff that happens throughout the games. We don’t ever want to disrespect another program, and our guys know that, so there we go.”

Odom took issue with Max Rice standing too close to the Aggies’ bench area while officials reviewed a call, but it was unclear exactly what was said during the confrontation.

“There’s a lot of things that get under my skin, too,” Leon Rice said. “There’s been times when I don’t get an A-plus for my behavior.”

Saturday’s victory kept the Broncos (21-6, 12-2 MW) a half-game ahead of Wyoming (22-4, 11-2) in the race for the Mountain West regular-season championship with four games remaining.

“Those guys are just amazing,” Leon Rice said. “They’re so coachable, and it goes back to I’ve got mature guys that have high character and that’s what makes them coachable. And then they trust each other and they trust the staff. That’s why it’s working.”

In the same fashion he has all season, Shaver came through with the game on the line. He wowed the crowd of 10,252 with a jumper just before the halftime buzzer. And his 3-pointer with 2 minutes left was the kind of clutch shot fans have come to expect from the Phoenix, Arizona, product.

“You never want to take it for granted, because it’s pretty dang special,” Leon Rice said of Shaver. “I’ve watched that special for a long time, and it’s great to watch. That year when he redshirted, how many shots he made at the end of clocks. It was like: ‘How bad is our defense?’ Well, no, how good is Marcus Shaver? And we’re getting better and better, our guys know and they find him and they get him the ball at the right times.

“We had a timeout at the end of the (first) half and Marcus had the ball. Well, I’m gonna keep that timeout in my back pocket, because I’m not gonna draw up a better play than the ball in Marcus Shaver’s hand at the end of the clock.”

Shaver finished with a game-leading 20 points on 6-for-9 shooting, including a 2-for-4 performance from 3-point range and a perfect 6-for-6 at the free-throw line. Fifth-year senior Abu Kigab added 15 of his 17 points in the second half, and freshman Tyson Degenhart totaled 12 points, seven boards and two steals.

The Broncos will be at home again Tuesday against San Diego State, which currently sits fourth in the Mountain West standings. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at ExtraMile Arena, and the game will be televised on CBS Sports Network. A radio broadcast is available on 670 AM.

“Believe me, down the conveyor belt comes another great team,” Leon Rice said. “This league is amazing and it’s amazing how competitive it is.”

Women’s basketball: Lobos sweep Broncos

The New Mexico women’s basketball team sank its first five shots and never looked back in an 89-62 victory Saturday at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Lobos led by as many as 14 points in the first quarter and held a 42-26 advantage by halftime to sweep the season series.

Fifth-year senior Dominique Leonidas scored a team-leading 18 points on 9-for-14 shooting to pace the Broncos. Elodie Lalotte added 10 points, and Abby Muse just missed a double-double with nine points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

The Broncos will be at home for their final two regular-season games. They host Nevada on Feb. 24 and San Jose State on Feb. 28 for senior night. Both games tip off at 6:30 p.m. and will be streamed live on the Mountain West Network, or listen on the radio on 670 AM.

MEN: BOISE ST. 68, UTAH ST. 57

UTAH ST. (15-13, 6-9 MW): Bean 3-10 0-1 6, Horvath 5-12 0-0 11, Ashworth 1-2 0-0 3, Bairstow 1-2 0-0 3, Eytle-Rock 6-11 3-4 16, Jones 2-4 0-0 6, Hamoda 4-10 1-1 10, Zapala 1-1 0-0 2, Shulga 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-53 4-6 57.

BOISE ST. (21-6, 12-2 MW): Armus 3-6 0-0 6, Degenhart 4-10 3-4 12, Kigab 5-6 6-9 17, Rice 3-8 1-1 8, Shaver 6-9 6-6 20, Akot 0-1 3-5 3, Milner 0-0 0-2 0, Kuzmanovic 1-2 0-1 2, N.Smith 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-42 19-28 68.

Halftime—Utah St. 30-29. 3-Point Goals—Utah St. 7-22 (Jones 2-3, Ashworth 1-2, Bairstow 1-2, Eytle-Rock 1-2, Hamoda 1-3, Horvath 1-5, Bean 0-5), Boise St. 5-17 (Shaver 2-4, Kigab 1-1, Degenhart 1-5, Rice 1-5, Akot 0-1, Kuzmanovic 0-1). Fouled Out—Jones. Rebounds—Utah St. 29 (Bean, Horvath 7), Boise St. 23 (Armus, Degenhart 7). Assists—Utah St. 15 (Ashworth, Jones, Hamoda 3), Boise St. 8 (Kigab, Shaver, Akot 2). Total Fouls—Utah St. 23, Boise St. 13. A—10,252 (12,480).

WOMEN: NEW MEXICO 89, BOISE ST. 62

BOISE ST. (8-18, 4-11 MW): Dominique Leonidas 9-15 0-2 18; Elodie Lalotte 5-8 0-0 10; Abby Muse 4-9 1-3 9; Mary Kay Naro 4-8 1-2 9; Linsey Lovrovich 1-2 2-2 5; Trista Hull 2-4 0-0 4; Jayda Clark 1-5 1-2 3; Rachel Bowers 1-3 0-0 2; Sydney McQuietor 1-3 0-0 2; Mackenzie Naro 0-1 0-0 0; Anna Ostlie 0-5 0-0 0. Totals 28-63 5-11 62.

NEW MEXICO (22-7, 13-3 MW): Jaedyn De La Cerda 7-12 4-4 20; LaTora Duff 6-12 2-2 17; Paula Reus 7-13 2-2 17; Shaiquel McGruder 6-8 0-0 12; Antonia Anderson 3-11 1-2 9; LaTascya Duff 3-9 0-0 8; Kath van Bennekom 1-1 0-0 2; Aniyah Augmon 0-1 2-2 2; Mackenzie Curtis 1-4 0-0 2; Nevaeh Parkinson 0-2 0-0 0; Zeyno Seren 0-0 0-0 0; Rebeka Renczes 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 34-74 11-12 89.

Boise St…………………. 16 10 18 18 — 62

New Mexico……………….. 28 14 28 19 — 89

3-point goals — Boise St. 1-10 (Lovrovich 1-1; Clark 0-3; Bowers 0-1; Mackenzie Naro 0-1; Ostlie 0-4), New Mexico 10-29 (LaTora Duff 3-6; LaTascya Duff 2-5; Anderson 2-6; De La Cerda 2-5; Reus 1-4; Parkinson 0-1; Curtis 0-1; McGruder 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Boise St. 43 (Muse 11), New Mexico 35 (McGruder 6). Assists — Boise St. 13 (Leonidas 4; Mary Kay Naro 4), New Mexico 17 (De La Cerda 7). Total fouls — Boise St. 16, New Mexico 11. Technical fouls — None. A — 4722.

This story was originally published February 19, 2022 6:08 PM.

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