Boise State (15-6) at San Diego State (16-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, February 6, 11 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Viejas Arena (12,414) -- San Diego, California. Television: Time Warner SN. Home Record: BSU 9-1, SDSU 9-1. Away Record: BSU 4-5, SDSU 4-2. Neutral Record: BSU 2-0, SDSU 3-2. Conference Record: BSU 3-4, SDSU 4-3. Series Record: San Diego State leads, 4-0.
GAME NOTES: No longer considered one of the top teams in the nation, the San Diego State Aztecs find themselves trying to win back supporters as they entertain the Boise State Broncos in Mountain West Conference action at Viejas Arena on Wednesday night.
The Aztecs are still considered one of the teams to beat in the MWC this season, but the squad has hit more than a few bumps in the road in recent weeks. After bowing to both UNLV and Wyoming in January it appeared SDSU had turned it around with back-to-back victories against Nevada and nationally- ranked New Mexico, but then Air Force stepped up and took out the Aztecs in a 70-67 final in Colorado over the weekend.
With the most recent setback to the Falcons, San Diego State is now just 4-3 in conference and that has the team sitting in a tie with UNLV for fourth place in the standings coming into this week.
As for the Broncos, they are just a step behind at 3-4 in the MWC. Last Saturday saw the team conquer the Runnin' Rebels in Idaho by a 77-72 score, snapping a two-game slide in the process. The win was also the 50th for head coach Leon Rice in just 86 games at the school, representing the best start for a coach since the program made the move to Division I prior the 1970-71 campaign.
Boise State, which is set to close out the regular season when it hosts the Aztecs at Taco Bell Arena the second week of March, has never defeated SDSU as the teams clash for the fifth time ever on Wednesday night.
Anthony Drmic dropped in a team-best 22 points, leading four players in double figures, as the Broncos pulled off the win against visiting UNLV at Taco Bell Arena. Derrick Marks accounted for 17 points, Ryan Watkins 12 before fouling out and Jeff Elorriaga another 11 points, to go along with five assists and three steals as the team shot a solid 49.1 percent from the floor and 8-of-19 beyond the arc. Because of a series of strong offensive efforts in non- conference games earlier this season, the Broncos are generating 75.8 ppg, which means they are outscoring the competition by almost 10 points per contest. However, when it comes to conference play, opponents are posting 74.6 ppg and BSU just 69.1 ppg as the Broncos try to ride Drmic (18.1 ppg) and Marks (17.5 ppg) into the win column as much as they cane.
While it is a part of the game for all teams, injuries put the Aztecs in a compromising position against Air Force on Saturday, as Xavier Thames sat out due to a back problem while Chase Tapley attempted to move forward even as he nursed a wrist issue. The result was a second loss in as many years to Air Force on the road, as Jamaal Franklin tried to give the visitors a fighting chance with a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds, not to mention six assists and a couple of steals. James Rahon added 14 points and both JJ O'Brien and DeShawn Stephens contributed 10 points. Over the course of 21 games, all but one of which he has appeared in, Franklin is clearly the one who drives the Aztecs with his 17.8 ppg and 9.5 rpg, although his mere 25.5 percent shooting beyond the arc can be a distraction.
When playing at home in 2012-13, the Aztecs have outscored the visitors by more than 17 ppg and held those foes to 38.3 percent shooting from the floor, but expect to see the Broncos force their way into the paint in order to get a fair shot at a big win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 68, San Diego State 64
02/06 10:37:52 ET