Boise State wore down Portland State tonight 76-60 in Taco Bell Arena.
The game was the Broncos' third in seven days and just two days after the exhausting game against Idaho and it showed. Boise State was not its usual sharp selves, allowing the Vikings to hang around for the entire first half. Coach Leon Rice's team went into the locker room only up 34-30.
No doubt Rice laid it out to his team at halftime, as the Bronco defense ceased to allow the easy buckets they were giving up in the first half. One minute into the second stanza, Derrick Marks' driving layup made it 36-30, then a steal by Marks and beautiful assist to Ryan Watkins opened up an eight-point lead. Watkins added a free throw to make it 39-30.
Both teams turned ice cold as seven minutes later, Boise State held a 43-35 lead. Igor Hadziomerivic drilled a three-pointer to give Boise State its biggest lead at 46-35, then Anthony Drmic came up with another steal, resulting in a Marks layup and free throw. The Broncos were up 49-35, and coasted the rest of the way to their sixth victory in as many games.
Watkins was superb for Boise State, hustling all over the court. The big guy netted 14 points and 13 rebounds, and his help down low stopped several Vikings in their tracks. Marks added 14 points, while Mikey Thompson scored 13 and had four assists, Hadziomerivic contributed 12 points and 7 rebounds, and Drmic had 9 points, 8 boards and 3 assists for the Broncos.
DaShaun Wiggins had 19 points for Portland State, aided by Tim Douglas with 12 and Aaron Moore with 12.
Next up for the Broncos is Utah Tuesday night. The Utes are unbeaten themselves, making for an early season game pitting two of the nation's 20 undefeated teams remaining.
Tipoff is 8:05 Tuesday night in Taco Bell Arena.