New Mexico shot almost 66 percent in the first half last night and dominated Boise State in every way, building a 49-31 lead at the break in Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos would make their run, though (everybody does against New Mexico). Early in the second half it was a 16-2 spurt that got Boise State within five points while the Lobos were missing 12 straight shots. James Reid personally kept the margin at five by answering New Mexico scores over the next several minutes. Then it became a 29-12 run with Paris Austin’s steal and layin with six minutes left, and it was 64-62. That’s when the Lobos’ shots started falling again, free throw shooting kicked in, and the visitors pulled away for an 81-70 victory.
The Broncos do have their shortcomings in what is supposed to be a rebuilding year. They’re not as athletic as many of the teams they play, and they saw one of those last night. New Mexico knew it was more skilled inside than Boise State, so the Lobos let that facet play out while committing to defend the three-point line. Open looks from beyond the arc were rare, and the Broncos managed just five makes on 23 attempts from deep. In the paint, New Mexico had its way at both ends of the floor. Typifying that was the Lobos’ Sam Logwood, who used his quicks to score 16 points, his first game in double-figures since December 7. Now the Broncos really have to regroup.
Two guys Boise State depends on for scoring both got into double-figures last night, but it was a relatively quiet 14 and 12 points from Chandler Hutchison and Nick Duncan, respectively. Hutchison got it going late but was just 5-for-14 from the field. Duncan was one of the victims of Lobos’ emphasis on the three-point line and went 2-for-9 from beyond the arc. It was Reid leading the team in scoring with 16 points in another solid performance off the bench. The senior transfer was expected to be a sparkplug, and he’s filling that role now.
Boise State, now a half-game behind Nevada, is likely to lose its grip on first place in the Mountain West tonight, as the Wolf Pack hosts Air Force. A Falcons win is not feasible in Reno. Also tonight, an interesting matchup awaits between Colorado State and Fresno State at Save Mart Center, while Wyoming visits San Jose State, the Broncos’ road opponent on Saturday. Elsewhere last night, San Diego State evened its conference record after an 0-3 start with a 64-51 victory at UNLV.
Boise State has gone the veteran route in finding its new wide receivers coach. This has to be a breath of fresh air for Eric Kiesau, who spent the final four games of this past season as the interim head coach at 1-11 Fresno State after the firing of Tim DeRuyter. Kiesau worked under former Bronco coach Dan Hawkins from 2006-10, serving as offensive coordinator his final two seasons, before assisting at Cal in 2011. His breakout came at Washington, where he was O-coordinator in 2012-13 and had the Huskies up to 13th in the country in total offense his second season. Steve Sarkisian, however, didn’t take him along to USC in 2014, and Kiesau spent one tough season under Charlie Weis at Kansas.
Kiesau then spent the 2015 season as one of those “offensive analysts” under Nick Saban at Alabama, and he was Lane Kiffin’s roommate while Kiffin’s family was still in California and Kiesau’s was in Washington. Kiesau has picked a lot of brains. He could have landed at Boise State a year ago—he was approached at that time by coach Bryan Harsin but had only been at Fresno State for a couple weeks and stuck to his guns.
When Boise State and Hawaii faced off in the de facto WAC championship game in 2007, Aloha Stadium was filled with 50,000 fans. The Warriors don’t get a third of that now (despite what their announced attendance says), and now it appears the Aloha Stadium Authority acknowledges those days are over. The ASA has recommended that a new stadium be constructed with 30,000-35,000 permanent seats. Aloha Stadium, the decaying facility built in 1975, is said to be in need of $300 million in “health and safety repairs,” and officials feel they could build a new stadium for that. It would be the best possible outcome for Hawaii football.
One of Idaho’s premier Nordic events of the year is set for Saturday and Sunday as the fifth annual McCall Re-Mastered rolls out at Ponderosa State Park and Jug Mountain Ranch. The McCall Re-Mastered has become one of the premiere Nordic events in the Intermountain Region. The elite races take place Saturday on the same course as the 2008 Masters World Cup at Ponderosa Park, where 1,200 skiers from 23 countries were entered. This event is expected to draw 200 race participants from across the state and the region.
Back to the hardwood—the Boise State women try to get back on a roll, coming off their thrilling 67-66 win over Fresno State last Saturday. The Broncos are at The Pit tonight to face New Mexico. Brooke Pahukoa continues to lead Boise State with 13.6 points per game, but it’s been balance that’s keyed the team’s 13-3 record. The Broncos have seen three or more players reach double-figures in 13 of their first 16 games. They have four players currently averaging double-figures, with Shalen Shaw, Marta Hermida, and Marijke Vanderschaaf joining Pahukoa.
This Day In Sports…January 18, 1976:
A former Boise State Bronco plays in the Super Bowl for the first time, as Grandview’s Rolly Woolsey suits up as a kick returner and backup cornerback for Dallas. Woolsey’s Cowboys would fall to the Pittsburgh Steelers, 21-17—the game-clincher coming when Terry Bradshaw hooked up with Lynn Swann in the fourth quarter on a 64-yard touchdown. Bradshaw was knocked unconscious on the play and didn’t know about the TD until he was taken to the locker room.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)