Broncos’ losses, Elorriaga’s struggles no coincidence; ‘hot’ Nevada team up next

Boise State coach Leon Rice likes to say “like the 3, love the rim” when it comes to his offense.

Though the Broncos don’t live and die with the 3-pointer, they no doubt are much more effective when sinking shots from long distance.

In their five losses this season, the Broncos are 25-of-85 on 3-pointers (29.4 percent). In their 11 wins, they are 94-of-228 (41.2 percent).

With that, when their best 3-point shooter is off, the Broncos tend to be, too. Senior Jeff Elorriaga has not scored in the last five halves he has played, a stretch of 75 minutes without a point. In that span, the Broncos have been outscored by 19. Boise State is 16-3 this season and last when he has scored in double digits.

Elorriaga was 0-for-4 from the field, all 3s, on Saturday in the Broncos’ 52-50 loss to Wyoming in 40 minutes, and did not attempt a shot in the second half.

“I thought he had great looks in the first half,” Rice said. “… he’ll knock those down (next time).”

The Broncos travel to Reno on Tuesday to face Nevada at 8 p.m. MT. The game will not be televised, but can be streamed here.

The Wolf Pack (9-8, 4-0) are what Rice called the Mountain West’s “hottest” team, and already has one more conference win than it did last season. Guard Deonte Burton was named conference player of the week Monday after he averaged 21.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game last week in two wins. Burton has been outstanding this season with 21.8 ppg, tops in the conference. He’s also in the top five in the league in field goal percentage, assists, steals and minutes.

Chris Murray from the Reno Gazette-Journal previews the game here. He is on Twitter @MurrayRGJ

Boise State is No. 64 in the latest official NCAA RPI rankings. Check them out here. The Broncos have faced the No. 5 team (Iowa State), No. 14 (San Diego State), No. 15 (Kentucky) and No. 54 (Saint Mary’s). The Broncos face the No. 21 team, New Mexico, on Jan. 21 in Albuquerque.

Here is my AP top 25 ballot for this week:
1. Arizona
2. Syracuse
3. Michigan State
4. Wisconsin
5. Villanova
6. Wichita State
7. San Diego State
8. Iowa State
9. Florida
10. Oklahoma State
11. Iowa
12. Baylor
13. Kentucky
14. Ohio State
15. Kansas
16. Massachusetts
17. Cincinnati
18. Creighton
19. Memphis
20. Colorado
21. Louisville
22. Saint Louis
23. Pittsburgh
24. UCLA
25. Harvard

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