Game Recap: Boise State 72, BYU 68
Great defensive efforts in overtime earn Boise State a win at home.
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Trio of Alston, Jessup and Williams get it done for the Broncos.
The Broncos needed a win going into Wednesday night’s game in the Extramile Arena while the Cougars were looking for their third straight. It was a hard fought battle for each team but after sending the game into overtime tied at 58 a piece, the Broncos sealed the win with a clutch performance at the free throw line from Derrick Alston Jr. and a solid defensive performance from Justian Jessup.
Boise State was riding a two game losing streak going into Wednesday night’s game and looked determined to end it against a hot BYU team. It wasn’t a pretty game most of the way, and you can blame that on tough defense combined with consistent effort form both teams throughout. Senior forward RJ Williams is having a great season after coming in from junior college with high expectations last year, and made his impact felt in the paint tallying 18 points and grabbing 7 boards whiling shooting a perfect 6-6 from the field.
But after fouling out in regulation the Bronco’s relied on Derrick Alston Jr. who ended the night with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Although he went 1/6 from deep, he was able to get into the paint get the foul stripe and create opportunities for others. A win might not have been possible if it wasn’t for senior guard Justian Jessup’s defensive efforts at the top of the key. Jessup finished with 4 steals on the night and turned those turnovers into fast break points.
The Cougars have struggled early on this season with senior guard T.J. Haws struggling to find a rhythm in their last three games and they have also missed senior leader Yoeli Childs’ presence down low. Mark Pope’s squad has been led in part by transfer guards Jake Toolson and Alex Barcello. And While Haws continued to struggle shooting from the floor going 5/16 and 0/8 from deep, Toolson kept the Cougars involved with a 19 point performance knocking down shots from inside and out.
The Bronco’s earned their second win of the season but first against a division one opponent. This was a great win at home and should provide momentum going forward with some winnable games on the horizon followed by early conference games.
Up Next: The Broncos take on the Pacific Tigers and former NBA point guard Damon Stoudamire on Saturday at 5:00 PM MT. The Tigers are 5-2 on the season after a four point win on Tuesday against another former NBA guard, Juan Dixon and the Coppin State Eagles.