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Broncos let a big one slip away at TCU
The Sports XChange
Special to BroncoCountry.com
Posted Jan 24, 2012
Boise State's season is teetering on the brink after the Broncos collapsed over the final 9 minutes against TCU. The Broncos had a 14-point lead before being outscored 18-2 down the stretch to suffer a dreadful 54-52 loss on Jan 21 to the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth, TX. The loss dropped Boise State (10-8) to 0-3 in the Mountain West heading into Wednesday's home game against nationally ranked UNLV
knew the terrain would be tough in their inaugural season in the league and appeared to catch a break when they avoided
San Diego State
over the first three games.
Instead, they failed to take advantage of the good fortune. Boise State needed to go 2-1 to be looked at as a threat to finish in the middle of the conference race. Now predictions pegging them as the worst team in the eight-team league look spot on.
The conference-opening home loss to
was a major setback, but it wasn't a surprise that the Broncos lost at
in their second game.
But under any measure, failing to protect a double-digit lead against
rates as a huge disappointment.
The Horned Frogs were picked to finish seventh in the league -- one spot ahead of the Broncos -- and looked ready to fold when Boise State led 50-36. But the Broncos went nearly 12 minutes between field goals and let the Horned Frogs back in the game and ultimately paid the price with a painful defeat.
"The wheels came off a little bit with us," Boise State coach
said. "We lost our poise. They made some big shots, some tough shots, and some big rebounds, too. It was a tough battle and we were there to steal one on the road and didn't get it done."
Buckner returns following eligibility review
was back on the court against TCU after behind held out of a Jan. 17 loss to Colorado State while the NCAA and Mountain West officials reviewed his eligibility status.
Buckner, a junior-college transfer from the College of Southern Idaho, was cleared to play against the Horned Frogs two days prior to the game and had four points and five rebounds in 28 minutes.
Overall, Buckner is averaging 8.7 points and 4.3 rebounds, and the Broncos missed Buckner's presence against Colorado State when they were forced to go with a smaller lineup.
"He's a kid that's made a big jump," Boise State coach Leon Rice told the Idaho Press-Tribune. "He has a toughness about him. He can physically go toe-to-toe with guys in our league."
--The Broncos have already used nine different starting lineups
this season after using just eight all last season. Ten different players have started games.
--Boise State is shooting just 31.8 percent
from 3-point range in conference play.
BY THE NUMBERS:
Road wins in seven attempts for the Broncos.
QUOTE TO NOTE:
"That's probably one of the biggest challenges that we face -- learning how to win on the road." --
Boise State coach Leon Rice.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK'S GAMES:
--vs. UNLV, Jan. 25
Boise State doesn't match up well with the athletics Rebels. The Broncos will have a hard time keeping rebounding dynamo
from a double-digit board game and denying forward
from knocking down 3-pointers will also be a challenge.
, Jan. 28
The Cowboys will slow the game down and try to play the contest in the 50s, which isn't Boise State's type of game. The Broncos need a big game from up-and-down
against stellar Wyoming forward Leonard Washington.
Boise State's lack of proficient scorers is becoming a problem as the schedule gets tougher. The Broncos had an early-season schedule of home games against inferior opponents and topped 90 points in four of their first eight games. That prompted the illusion they would be a high-scoring team, but the Broncos have scored under 60 in four consecutive games and making shots has become a lot tougher. Boise State needs to add a scorer to the mix for next season to help share the load with
--Freshman G Anthony Drmic
is starting to fade and shooting just 26.5 percent from the field in three conference games. Drmic is averaging a team-best 13.1 points.
made his first career start against TCU and led the Broncos with 13 points and eight rebounds.
had just five points against TCU after tallying a career-high 16 against Colorado State.
sustained an injury to his hand against TCU and is likely lost for the season according to Head Coach Leon Rice.
Broncos try to regroup after tough UNLV loss
Jan 27, 2012
Boise's Search for 1st road win heads to TCU
Jan 18, 2012
UNM makes history in 81-42 win over Air Force
Jan 31, 2012
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