San Diego, CA – Trying to win their first conference game as ranked San Diego State at Viejas Arena tonight.
Boise State, which has lost all five MWC games thus far, has fallen in six straight games overall and won just twice in the last 10 outings. Over the weekend, the team was pitted against Wyoming at home and failed to take advantage of the favorable surroundings in a 75-64 setback. Since starting the 2011-12 campaign with eight wins over nine games, the team has won just twice.
As for the Aztecs, they suffered their first setback in nearly two months on Saturday when they were stunned by an up-and-coming Colorado State squad in a 77-60 final at Moby Arena in Fort Collins. The defeat snapped an 11-game win streak during which SDSU took down UNLV in a battle between nationally-ranked MWC members back on January 14. Now 4-1 in conference, the Aztecs enter play on Wednesday tied with the Runnin' Rebels for first place in the standings.
This is just the second meeting ever between these two teams, which makes sense since Boise State is the latest edition to the MWC. The only other clash took place during the Bicentennial when the Aztecs picked up a 78-68 win at Peterson Gym.
Boise State fell behind early against the Cowboys at home over the weekend, making just seven field goals and shooting 2-of-10 behind the three-point line in the first half, so by the time the Broncos connected on 55.6 percent from the floor in the second half it was too late. Not a single starter scored in double figures for the hosts, instead it was Joe Hanstad who tallied 13 points off the bench, followed by fellow reserves Ryan Watkins and Tre' Nichols with 12 and 11 points, respectively. The loss of Jeff Elorriaga with a broken thumb certainly doesn't help the BSU cause as the team tries to find the mystery behind winning in the MWC. Before bowing out Elorriaga was the top scorer for the Broncos in conference with his 9.3 ppg, now that falls to Westly Perryman who is posting 9.0 ppg as he shoots 40.5 percent from the field. As a group, Boise State is converting just 38.5 percent from the floor and scoring 60.4 ppg versus the new set of conference foes.
Against the Aztecs on Saturday, Colorado needed more than just a little luck to handle one of the most successful teams in college basketball the last two seasons, and the Rams got it as they nailed all 23 of their free-throw attempts to set a new conference record. Over on the other side, SDSU missed just three of its 20 free-throw tries and forced 17 turnovers, but that simply didn't cut it. Jamaal Franklin tried to keep the visitors in the mix with his 24 points and 10 rebounds, while Xavier Thames and Chase Tapley both added 10 points in the losing cause. Overall this season, the Aztecs are scoring a modest 72.2 ppg, 10.8 ppg more than the competition, but when it comes to conference games the points become slightly more scarce for SDSU which is producing only 62.6 ppg in those outings. Still, the defense is holding MWC opponents to just 60.0 ppg, but the margin for error is far too small. Jamaal Franklin accounts for 17.2 ppg in those outings and is also first on the glass with better than nine rebounds per game, but those pesky Mountain West opponents are beating San Diego State on the glass by almost four per game.