March 02, 2016
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BOISE, Idaho (AP) In his final game at Taco Bell Arena, redshirt senior Anthony Drmic made consecutive field goals, and the Boise State men's basketball team never looked back after jumping to a 9-0 lead en route to a 76-57 victory over Nevada (18-11, 10-7 MW).
The Broncos smallest lead of the game was by four points with the score at 33-29 with 2:06 remaining in the first half.
The win gave Boise State (20-10, 11-6) sole possession of the third seed - and a guarantee of at least the second or third seed - in the Mountain West Conference Tournament, Mar. 7-12.
Boise State now has won 20 or more games in four consecutive seasons, and has five 20-win seasons under head coach Leon Rice.
"We're playing some great basketball and some great basketball in some tough situations," Rice said. "You look back at the last four weeks, and you see a team that's getting better and better, you see a team that's playing really good. Tonight we played a great defensive game."
Drmic began Boise State's rout with back-to-back field goals in the opening two minutes. Redshirt senior Montigo Alford added a lay-up on a break-away and fellow redshirt senior Lonnie Jackson added a shot from beyond the arc to put the Broncos up 9-0 only 2:31 into the game.
Drmic finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds - including a career high seven offensive rebounds - to move into third place past Derrick Marks (2011-15) on the all-time scoring list.
Drmic now has 1,914 career points - 10 behind Steve Conner (1974-78) for second on the all-time scoring list, and 27 behind Tanoka Beard (1989-93) on the all-time scoring list.
Drmic earned a double-double and notched his 93rd career game in double-digit scoring.
"It was fun," Drmic said. ". . . I just went out there and played as hard as I could. I'm just happy I'm playing at a decent level again, mostly for my team. I feel like earlier on I was struggling and it hurt the team."
Boise State's departing senior class of Drmic, Alford, Jackson and redshirt senior Mikey Thompson earned 37 of Boise State's points.
"Those senior nights are tough. You're always worried about all the emotion involved," Rice said. "You just hope you can manage it and your team can manage it. . . Credit to our guys, they sent our guys out the right way."
Redshirt junior James Webb III, in his first game back from a MCL sprain, scored 15 points seven-of-12 shooting and added seven rebounds.
With Nevada mounting a comeback to make it a four point game, the Broncos answered with back-to-back threes from freshman guard Paris Austin and junior forward Nick Duncan.
Sophomore forward Chandler Hutchison added a pair of free throws to give Boise State a 41-29 at halftime.
Boise State's dominance continued to the final horn, winning by 19 points - their third largest margin of victory in MW play.
Boise State overcame 15 turnovers by limiting the Wolf Pack to only 15 points off of turnovers. Nevada shot 20-of-52 from the field and only had seven second-chance points.
The Broncos forced 19 turnovers.
Boise State returns to action Sat. for the regular season finale against San Jose State. The last time out, the Broncos defeated the Spartans 94-69 on Jan. 20 at Taco Bell Arena. Since joining the MW, Boise State is 5-0 against San Jose State.
Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m. MT from The Event Center on the Mountain West Network.