Boise State guard Devonaire Doutrive (11) shoots the ball during the game against Nevada-Las Vegas at ExtraMile Arena in Boise on Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021.

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BOISE — The Boise State men’s basketball team got back on track Thursday night with a 78-66 win against UNLV.

The Broncos hope to make it two in a row over the Rebels with another win tonight.

Boise State (15-4, 11-3 MW) hosts UNLV at 8 p.m. on FOX Sports 1 in a key game for the Broncos’ Mountain West title and NCAA Tournament hopes. With the Broncos squarely on the NCAA bubble with seven games left, every game is a near must-win at this point.

Emmanuel Akot had 16 points while playing mostly at the point guard position Thursday night to help the Broncos end a two-game losing streak. Nine different players saw the floor for the Broncos and they each had at least three points.

Two areas that need to improve in the rematch? Rebounding and slowing down UNLV’s Bryce Hamilton. The Rebels had 14 offensive rebounds in the first game, while Hamilton had 26 points — including 24 in the second half.

Boise State expects to again have a few family members of players and staff, but ExtraMile Arena will basically be empty. It’s possible the Broncos may try to allow for more fans for next week’s games against Utah State, but a current Central District Health order is limiting them to 50 fans.

A notable side story? History could be made tonight. Boise State coach Leon Rice enters with 213 career wins with the Broncos, which is tied with Bobby Dye for the most all-time. A win over the Rebels would make Rice the winningest-coach in Boise State basketball history.

Check Sunday’s Idaho Press and for complete coverage from tonight’s game.

B.J Rains has covered Boise State athletics for the Idaho Press since 2013. He is an Associated Press Top 25 men's basketball poll voter, and also contributes to KBOI-TV as a Boise State insider.

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