The Boise State Broncos men’s basketball team has a very rich tradition with the Nevada Wolf Pack. In a rivalry that spans many years, the two basketball programs have had many great games. The first meeting of the 2018 calendar year was no exception.
In a late night showdown on a Saturday evening, the Bronco basketball team found themselves in Reno, Nevada.
The conference leading Wolf Pack hosted the #2 Broncos in what would be a battle for the Mountain West.
*Nevada’s previous four games (All Mountain West games) were all won by double digits.
Nevada had one of the quickest starts to a game when their own Caleb Martin caught the tip and dunked it.
The first half was back and forth seeing six total lead changes. The Broncos never led by more than a point during the duration of the first half.
All of Nevada’s scoring came from three players: Martin 13, Jordan Caroline 13, and Stephens 9.
The Broncos saw 7 players score in the first half including Chandler Hutchison and Chris Sengfleder, each with 8 points.
🏀 Hutchison with 8 (3-6 shooting)
🏀Sengfelder also with 8 (3-7 shooting, 2-4 from beyond the arc)
🏀Alex Hobbs with 6 off he bench
— Bronco Nation News🐴 (@BNNBroncoNation) January 21, 2018
The two teams differed the most from beyond the arc: The Wolf Pack shot 42.9% vs. the Broncos who shot 16.7%. Another rough statistic was the turnover margin. The Broncos had 9 turnovers to the Wolf Pack’s 3.
The Wolf Pack won the first half, 35-29. In terms of the first half, it would also be the largest scoring margin for them at six points.
— Boise State MBB (@BroncoSportsMBB) January 21, 2018
Coming out of the break, after a free throw by Nevada, the Broncos began with a 10-0 run. Included in that run was a Hutchison dunk off of a steal from Alex Hobbs. Sengfelder also had a dunk in transition.
The Bronco offense came out of the break fluid and fast. Transition basketball and up tempo speed had been an issue in recent games. However, the Bronco offense scored 10 points in less than three game minuets.
Included in those ten points were two transition dunks.
The Broncos hung with the Wolf Pack all the way through the final stretch. Nevada sealed their victory with a a couple of late free throws.
In the end, the Broncos, with a valiant effort, fell 74-68 in Reno.
Martin led all scorers, finishing with 28 points.
Leon Rice: "That's a devastated locker room right now."
— Chadd Cripe (@chaddcripe) January 21, 2018
It may give Nevada sole possession of the top of the conference. However, expect the Broncos to show no love in the rematch on Valentine’s day.
The Continuation of the Hutch Show
Chandler Hutchison, besides the fact that he’s been listed as “next level talent”, has been first, and for most, the senior leader for the Bronco squad.
Before the Nevada game, and including the five previous games, Hutchison has averaged 25 points.
Hutchison ended the game against the Wolf Pack with 27 points and 4 rebounds. 19 of those 27 points came in the second half.
One of Hutchison’s more impressive baskets on the night was at the the 4:40 mark in the 2nd half. The senior saved the ball from going out bounds, and finished with the and-one foul:
Chandler Hutchison with the steal, impressive save, bucket, and the foul.
YOU BETTER HOPE YOUR TEAM DRAFTS THIS MAN!
— Basketball Society (@BBallSociety_) January 21, 2018
Even though the Broncos lost the contest, Hutchinson has been a consistent steward of the game, scoring in double figures in every Mountain West game this season.
Look for his positive role, along with great play making ability, to keep the Broncos at the top of the conference.