November 28, 2012, 10 years ago today: Boise State records one of the biggest basketball wins in school history, upsetting No. 11 Creighton in Omaha, 83-70. Sophomore Derrick Marks poured in 35 points, 28 of them after halftime, and scored 18 consecutive Bronco points during one stretch in the second half.The Broncos won a road game over a Top 25 team for only the second time ever. The Bluejays were also the highest-ranked team—home or away—Boise State had ever defeated, a distinction that stands to this day.
The crowd of 16,364 fans in the CenturyLink Center was expecting another Creighton win. The program was at its peak, featuring junior All-American forward Doug McDermott (now a San Antonio Spur and in his seventh NBA season). The Bluejays had won 42 straight home games in the month of November in a streak that had lasted 23 years. But Boise State quieted the throng, taking a 39-33 lead into halftime.
With his 35 points, Marks equaled Boise State’s highest-scoring individual game in almost 14 years. How did he do it? “To tell you the truth, I don’t even know,” said Marks on the KBOI postgame show. “I was just in a zone.” Anthony Drmic added 17 points and Jeff Elorriaga had 12 for Boise State, which shot a torrid 60 percent from the field. Virtually every facet of the Broncos’ game was clicking. They made plays from beyond the arc (10-of-19) and on the glass (out-rebounding Creighton by 13). They made their free throws (15-of-19) and took care of the ball (only three turnovers in the second half).
The upset of Creighton resonated at the box office at Taco Bell Arena. Two weeks later, Boise State beat LSU before 11,210 fans. The Broncos drew 10,000-plus three more times during the season, their second in the Mountain West, capped by a 69-65 upset of San Diego State on Senior Night, with 10,455 looking on. Boise State finished the campaign 21-11 after earning the school’s first at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Broncos lost 80-69 to LaSalle at the First Four in Dayton, but the season was a benchmark for coach Leon Rice’s program.
(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.)