Arriving for the Boise State Broncos game on Saturday night, fans were likely expecting a hard-fought game between two talented teams.
They were treated to that and a show for the ages as well.
Chandler Hutchison did it all for the Broncos Saturday night against the San Diego State Aztecs (11-5, 3-2). Sweet drives with finger roll lay-ins. Emphatic dunks. Jumpers. Heaves at the end of the shot clock banked in for made three’s.
In the end, 10,874 fans at Taco Bell Arena witnessed one of the single greatest individual games in program history. Hutchison sliced, diced and shot his way to a record 44 points as Boise State (15-3, 5-1) defeated the Aztecs 83-80.
The previous record for single game points was set by Ron Austin, who scored 42 in a game in 1971.
Chander Hutchison scores 44 on 21 shots as Boise State beats San Diego State by three. The 44 points scored is a school record. Broncos have a gem.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 14, 2018
Hutchison shot 15-21 (71.4%) from the field, aided by an impressive 7-10 from beyond the arc. Throw in 7-9 from the free throw line, 8 rebounds, and an assist and you have a spectacular night from the Mountain West preseason player of the year.
The senior leader has been all over the court in 2017-18, especially since conference play began. In six conference games, Hutchison is averaging 27.5 ppg and 8.2 rpg.
Overall, Hutchison averages 19.8 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
He also has a knack for getting to the line, hitting the charity stripe 47 times in the past three games. Hutchison has knocked down 36 of them for a clip of 76.5%.
And while he’s (rightfully) been getting a lot of the headlines, Hutchison had plenty of help in key moments on Saturday night.
Big time plays when needed
Sometimes, in instances in which a single player takes over games like Hutchison did, it seems like the player is forcing the action.
Evident in his stats, Hutchison was not forcing shots and, after committing 20 turnovers in his previous five games, committed only two against the Aztecs.
The victory was also more than just a one-man show. Other Bronco players had fine games as others came up with big plays when needed.
Lexus Williams, he of the big shot in the Boise State Broncos victory over Oregon, tallied 16 points. Williams had back-to-back layups early in the second half after the Aztecs used a 6-0 run to tie the game.
His experience was also instrumental for the Broncos beating the press against the Aztecs.
Sophomore Justinian Jessup, who finished with ten points, hit an important three-pointer down the stretch and two key free throws.
On a night of made “shot clock expiring” 3’s, Chris Sengfelder hit one of the most impressive. Early in the second half, Sengfelder tracked down the ball in the corner and tossed up a prayer, with the ball falling through to ignite an already pumped crowd.
Even Zach Haney, who had a tough time giving up some easy dunks through the first 25 minutes, stepped up when needed. Haney pulled down key rebounds and made a couple of huge steals down the stretch (finishing with three for the game).
The night may have been Hutchison’s for the record book, but it was Boise State’s to enjoy. Hutchison may no longer be a hidden gem and for Boise State, the rumblings of a fantastic season are only beginning.