Boise St.-Utah St. Preview
Utah State has been unbeatable for quite some time on its home floor. That dominance extends even further in Western Athletic Conference action.
The 22nd-ranked Aggies look to extend their home winning streak to 28 and win for the 30th straight time over a WAC opponent at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum when they meet Boise State on Saturday night.
Utah State (21-2, 10-0) stretched its overall win streak to 16 with a 67-45 home victory over Nevada on Thursday. The Aggies have the third-longest active winning streak behind No. 1 Ohio State (23) and Coastal Carolina (19).
The victory was Utah State's 27th in a row at home, the third-longest active streak behind Duke (31) and Kentucky (29). Overall, the Aggies have won 79 of their last 81 home games.
They have won a school-record 29 straight WAC home games, with the last loss coming March 3, 2007, against Fresno State.
Utah State has never lost in 16 home meetings with Boise State (12-10, 5-5) and is 26-8 all-time in the series, including a 68-59 road win Jan. 13.
The Aggies were in danger of falling at home Thursday as they led by one at halftime, but they began the second half with a 21-6 run to take control.
Brockeith Pane scored 18 points and Brady Jardine added 14 for the Aggies, whose only two losses in their last 38 regular-season games were against ranked opponents BYU and Georgetown this season.
"It's pretty simple what happened," Jardine said. "Coach (Stew Morrill) said we needed more energy, so a couple of us gathered together and said we need to pick it up. I think we did that and when we do, we're very tough to beat."
Morrill was especially pleased with his team after it held the Wolf Pack to 17 points in the second half and limited them to their fewest points since a 60-44 loss to Rice on March 6, 2001.
"We kind of had the doldrums the first half," Morrill said, "and we made a bunch of dumb plays at the end of the half. But I thought we really helped each other in the second half, we were active defensively and it was fun to watch from a defensive standpoint."
The Aggies are holding conference opponents to 39.8 percent shooting, helping them extend their win streak in WAC play to a league-record 24 games.
Boise State is making just 41.5 percent of its attempts in conference action, and it shot a season-low 32.3 percent in last month's loss to Utah State.
The Broncos lost their third straight and fell for the fifth time in six games Thursday, 73-66 at home to Hawaii. Daequon Montreal had 17 points and Thomas Bropleh added 14, while leading scorer La'Shard Anderson was held to 10 on 3-of-12 shooting - 0 for 6 from 3-point range.
Anderson, averaging 15.1 points, shot 3 for 15 and scored seven in the last meeting with Utah State, which was led by Pane's 19 points and eight rebounds.