Game Recap: Boise State 87, Fresno State 53
Kigab leads a hot shooting Boise State over Fresno State on the road.
The Broncos continue dominant play with a win over the Bulldogs.
It was a tale of two standings on Saturday evening, as Fresno State 6-13 (2-6) attempted the upset of Boise State 12-8 (4-4) at home in the Save Mart Center.
Both teams went into Saturday’s game in ties in the conference standings as Boise State was in a two-way tie for fourth with Utah State and Fresno State in a two-way tie of it’s own with San Jose State for sixth.Those current finishes are a bit malleable at this point of the season with a lot of teams hovering just around .500 with a lot of play to go in conference.
And while the Broncos needed a win to help stay in the top half of the Mountain West conference standings, the Bulldogs needed one to help them begin a climb out of the conference’s basement.
The Broncos had a lot to prove going back on the road after a brief stop back in Boise more than a week ago against Utah State where they pulled off an amazing 18 point comeback with a little over four minutes left in regulation to seal the win overtime against the Aggies.
It’s a win that gave the program momentum in their seven day break that followed but Boise State hasn’t exactly fared well on the road with a 1-6 away record versus a 9-1 at home.
The Broncos played well on both sides of the ball, keeping the Bulldogs to under 60 points and playing the way they needed to on the road with a 34-point win over Fresno State with four of their five starters scoring 14 points or higher. Boise State is as good as any when Derrick Alston Jr. and Justinian Jessup get some help from their teammates.
When that happens plus flat out good looking basketball like they played tonight, watch out. Junior forward Abu Kigab who joined this Bronco squad mid season after transferring over from Oregon last year has been just the contributor they’ve needed to make them the dominant team we saw tonight. The St. Catherines, ON native had 23 points on the night, looking comfortable picking apart the Bulldogs defense and creating motion in the Bronco’s offense that got others involved as well.
Jessup ended the night with 19 points and 8 rebounds on 5/10 shooting from beyond the arc, playing a whopping 37 minutes for Leon Rice and company.
Fresno State heads on the road next week after suffering two straight losses while struggling to find consistency with a roster that looks a lot different then last’s years. The home team struggled as a whole shooting 37% from the field and just 25% from three.
Senior guard Noah Blackwell was the only Bulldog in double-figures on the night with 14 points. They also struggled with ball security with a turnover ratio of 0.22 and only 4 assists the entire game. As previously mentioned this is a bit of a rebuilding year in Fresno but with talented freshman with loads of potential (two examples below), fans shouldn’t get down on the program just yet and maybe just wait games like this out.
The Broncos stay home on Wednesday as they welcome San Jose State at into Extramile Arena at 7:00 PM MT. The Spartans have had a flair for upsets this season and look at the Broncos as just another potential number in their win column.
Next week takes Fresno State on the road once again as the Bulldogs head back to Colorado to take on the Air Force Academy on Tuesday night at 7:00 PM. The Falcons are dangerous at home in Clune Arena and are 6-4 there this season.