Boise State men’s basketball looks for offensive boost

The Boise State men’s basketball team is looking to snap out of — by its standards — a bit of an offensive slump.

Following a 50-point showing at now-No. 16 New Mexico on Saturday, the Broncos have scored more than 68 points once in their last six games. They’re now tied atop the Mountain West in scoring offense (73.8 points per game) after leading the league in that category most of this season. The team’s 66.4 ppg in league play is fourth.

“We have been a bit slow on offense lately, it’s just getting the ball in and out — we settled too much from the 3, me personally as well,” said guard/forward Anthony Drmic, who noted that multiple travels hurt the offensive flow Saturday.

At New Mexico, Boise State was 5-of-20 on 3-pointers, including 1-of-9 from Jeff Elorriaga. The Broncos were 3-of-11 from long distance in their previous game, a win over Wyoming.

Wednesday’s opponent, Air Force, is eighth in the Mountain West in scoring defense (67.1 ppg), and the two teams combined for 171 points when they played Jan. 19.

“We settled a little too much at New Mexico,” Boise State Leon Rice said. “… it was (high-scoring) last time we played (Air Force), and I think both teams are pretty efficient offensively, so it could be (again). It’s going to be a fun game to watch, I know that.”

When the Broncos played Air Force in their 91-80 loss last month, they were without Jeff Elorriaga and Kenny Buckner. With those two back, the Broncos have played well, going 2-2, but those losses were by one at San Diego State, and by 10 at New Mexico, though the Broncos were within one with 5 minutes to play.

“I feel we’re in a pretty good place … pretty fresh and mentally fresh for the stretch run,” Rice said.

Boise State has four of its last six remaining games at home, where the Broncos are 10-1 this season.

Wins in all four would give the Broncos at worst an 8-8 league record, which could be good enough for the school’s first-ever at-large NCAA berth.

I wrote a bit yesterday about the Broncos on the bubble.

The Boise State ticket office had sold 5,400 tickets for Wednesday’s game as of Tuesday afternoon. Active and retired military members, their family and friends, can get $6 tickets for the Air Force game via idahotickets.com or by phone at 426-4737.

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