Boise State (6-1) at Utah (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, December 5, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Jon M. Huntsman Center (15,000) -- Salt Lake City, Utah. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: BSU 4-0, Utah 4-1. Away Record: BSU 2-1, Utah 1-1. Neutral Record: BSU 0-0, Utah 0-0. Conference Record: BSU 0-0, Utah 0-0. Series Record: Utah leads, 3-2.
GAME NOTES: Winners of three straight, the Boise State Broncos continue their road trip on Wednesday night as they travel to Salt Lake City to take on the Utah Runnin' Utes in non-conference action at the Huntsman Center.
Boise State opened the season with three straight wins before bowing to Michigan State on the road by a mere four points, 74-70, back on Nov. 20. Since then the team has rattled off three more victories, the most recent of which being an 87-64 thumping of Seattle University on Sunday.
Utah has won four of the last five outings, but the team did split the first two road dates of the season last week. First the squad was dropped by SMU in Dallas by a score of 62-55 on Nov. 28 before taking down Texas State, 74-69, two days later.
The Utes will also use this opportunity to honor former head coach Rick Majerus who passed away over the weekend. Majerus, who most recently coached the Saint Louis Billikens before taking leave due to a heart condition, led the Utes from 1989-2004, taking them to the NCAA championship game in 1998
The Utes are ahead by a single game in the all-time series, 3-2, but it was Boise State that won the most recent encounter last season at Taco Bell Arena, 80-59.
Seattle had won 10 straight games at home before the Broncos arrived on Sunday, but that run was snapped rather convincingly as BSU delivered a 23- point win in the Pacific Northwest. Anthony Drmic tied his season high with 25 points, his second 20-plus scoring game of the campaign and the fifth in his career overall, while Mikey Thompson scored a career-high 19 points and Derrick Marks contributed 14. Defensively, the Broncos held the Redhawks to just 4-of-15 shooting behind the three-point line and forced the hosts into 21 turnovers as well. Marks, who paces the program with his 25 assists, is also the leading scorer for the team with his 18.7 ppg, followed by Drmic with 15.9 ppg thanks to his 41.5 percent accuracy beyond the arc. As a whole, BSU is converting 40.3 percent on the perimeter through seven games.
Utah shot a solid 53.1 percent from the floor at Strahan Coliseum last week and at the same time held the Bobcats to a mere 36.9 percent from the field, which is why it is difficult to understand how the Utes won by a mere five points once the smoke cleared. Jarred DuBois led all scorers with 21 points, Jason Washburn added 18 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots off the bench, followed by Jordan Loveridge with 17 points, eight boards and five assists. Perhaps the close call had something to do with the fact that Dallin Bachynski was held scoreless in just 11 minutes of action as a starter. Bachynski is a key figure for the Utes this season with his 9.9 ppg and 8.4 rpg, but obviously it is possible for him to completely disappear. DuBois heads the scoring list with 15.7 ppg, hitting on 50 percent of his three-point tries, while Loveridge is credited with 12.3 ppg and a team-best 8.6 rpg.
After demonstrating that even a strong game at both ends of the floor might only result in a narrow win against a weaker opponent, the Runnin' Utes will certainly have their hands full with Boise State on Wednesday night.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Boise State 77, Utah 72
12/05 10:32:40 ET