BOISE — Wins by more than 40 points are supposed to happen inside Bronco Stadium, not Taco Bell Arena.
For the third time this season, the Boise State men’s basketball team won by such a margin Wednesday night.
The Broncos posted their best scoring output in eight years with a 108-64 rout of the Drake Bulldogs, with seven players scoring at least nine points.
“The offense got on a roll there — to tell you the truth, I didn’t see that coming,” said Boise State coach Leon Rice, whose team lost by three point at Drake last season. “… It’s a credit to our guys. They took the assistants’ scouting report and did a really good job on personnel.”
Boise State (5-1) did most of its damage by utilizing its deep crop of shooters, making 14-of-22 3-pointers on the night. All six players who attempted one made one, paced by Drew Wiley’s 5-of-5 showing.
“As a shooter, you make those first couple, you start feeling it, everything kind of starts going in,” said Wiley, who had a team-high 17 points.
Guards Anthony Drmic, Jeff Elorriaga and Wes Perryman used their driving abilities to the Broncos’ benefit, often kicking it outside to a wide open shooter. The Broncos dealt out 20 assists in the win.
“It starts with our ball movement, then we did a good job of penetrating,” Rice said. “We didn’t take contested 3s. We were passing up the good shot for the great shot.”
Whether it was thanks to the outside prowess, or if his own play helped the shooters on the edge, junior forward Kenny Buckner provided Boise State with a toughness inside that kept Drake befuddled all night.
In 20 minutes, Buckner scored 16 points on 8-of-9 shooting and pulled down five of Boise State’s 43 rebounds. The Bulldogs finished with 24 rebounds.
“It helps me a lot, because the defense can’t double me or anything,” Buckner said of the 3-point barrage. “That’s just our team — that’s what we work on, that’s what we have. We use our weapons.”
The Broncos held Drake without a field goal in the last seven minutes of the first half, stretching a 29-22 lead to a 45-23 halftime lead in that span, and outscored the Bulldogs 44-18 in the paint.
Of course, a coach wouldn’t be doing his job without finding one qualm — the Broncos hit 22-of-34 free throws, a bit of a head-scratcher considering the team’s shooting ability from further out than 15 feet.
“We’re going to shoot our free throws from the top of the key from now on,” Rice joked.
The Broncos have won by 52, 42, and now 44 points this season. With Indiana State coming to town Saturday (an NCAA tournament team), the Broncos get a good test of their improvement.
“To me, our team’s just clicking — we’re starting to get there,” Wiley said.