If Boise State hopes to end a two-game losing streak, it will need to do something Saturday it has never done before — win at Utah State.
The Broncos (15-8, 5-5) are 0-17 all-time in Logan. The Aggies (13-9, 3-7) are 11-3 there this season. They ended a five-game losing streak with an 83-75 home win over Nevada on Wednesday. Boise State is 0-17 all-time in Logan. Saturday’s game tips off at 4:05 p.m. MT and will be televised on CBS Sports Network.
“Going to Logan is one of the toughest places to play in the country, it might be one of those toughest places where no one really knows how tough it is to play there,” Rice said. “… it’s got such a great atmosphere, a big-time student section that’s right on top of you.”
Boise State defeated Utah State 78-74 in Boise in their last meeting Jan. 18. The Aggies made 2-of-8 3-pointers in the first half of that game, but 7-of-10 in the second half. They were kept afloat by center Jarred Shaw, who had 24 points in the game.
“They’ve got a lot of guys that can shoot the ball,” Rice said. “… that’s where they present such a challenge, because you’ve got to defend the inside and the outside.”
Lost in the Broncos’ stunning loss Wednesday against No. 5 San Diego State is the fact they shot 51.0 percent (26-of-51) from the field. It was the third-best shooting performance by any team this season against the Aztecs. Boise State was 24-0 under Rice when shooting 50 percent or better before the loss.
Rice said senior guard Jeff Elorriaga will be a gametime decision Saturday against the Aggies. Elorriaga injured his back late in the first half last Saturday at UNLV and did not play in the second half. He did not play Wednesday against the Aztecs. He is averaging 8.3 points per game, fifth on the team, and leads with 50 3-pointers.
I’ll have more in tomorrow’s Statesman, but Rice praised his team’s resilience Friday, noting how it had to bounce back from a disappointing end at UNLV and played well, all things considered, against San Diego State. He also noted as a coach he needs to trust his bench more, while junior guard Derrick Marks will still be featured late in games, but needs to be more perceptive of potential better shots for teammates.