February 18, 1979: Until Chandler Hutchison’s record 44-point night against San Diego State in 2018, it’s Boise State’s last 40-point game, as guard Carl Powell scores exactly that in a 98-87 loss to Idaho State in old Bronco Gym. All of Powell’s points came from the field as he used a sweet left-handed stroke to set a school record for field goals with 20. He also established a new mark for attempts with 31. Both of those records still stand. And many of his baskets were from long-range—before the days of the three-pointer. Powell outdueled the nation’s leading Division I scorer that night, with Lawrence Butler scoring 39 for the Bengals.
There have only been four 40-point games in Boise State history, and three of them came in old Bronco Gym. The first two were racked up over a period of three weeks in 1971, when Ron Austin, a charter member of the Boise State Athletic Hall of Fame, scored 41 against Portland State and then 42 versus Montana. The list of all-time great Broncos who never reached 40 is lengthy. Career scoring leader Tanoka Beard topped out at 39 points, as did Derrick Marks. Roberto Bergersen’s career-high was 36, Anthony Drmic’s was 34, and Derrick Alston Jr.’s and Steve Connor’s was 33. Chris Childs, who I consider to be Boise State’s most impactful player ever, never even hit 30.
Powell didn’t log a single 30-point game outside of that performance 43 years ago. There was another Bronco who had a one-hit-wonder kind of explosion. Guard Joe Wyatt went off in a Big West game against New Mexico State in 1997, putting up 37 points, the only 30-point game of his career.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)