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So much for a COVID-19 pause and a two-week break without a game.

The Boise State men’s basketball team came out on fire Wednesday in Reno, extending its winning streak to eight with a 85-70 win over Nevada in a Mountain West Conference game.

“As a coach there’s a lot to worry about when you’re playing so good and then you’re put on pause,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. “But I had to handle it that way too, find the bright spots in it, find the positives. None of us wanted to stop. When you’re on a roll, you want to get those dice in your hands and keep rolling.”

The Broncos (11-4 overall, 2-0 MW) had lost 11 of 12 games against Nevada and six straight in Reno. The win was Boise State’s first since Jan. 13, 2016.

The Broncos hadn’t played since a conference-opening victory over Fresno State on Dec. 28.

A 10-0 run spanning late in the first half and into the opening minute of the second half allowed Nevada to pull within 41-34. But that’s where things would stall for the Wolf Pack.

Boise State went on a 14-4 run to get the lead to 53-36.

A basket down low from freshman Tyson Degenhart gave Boise State’s its biggest lead at 70-49 with 8:20 remaining.

The Wolf Pack cut the Broncos’ lead to 78-68 with 2:40 to go, but seven straight points from Marcus Shaver Jr., including 4 of 4 from the free-throw line, quelled any Nevada (7-6, 1-2) comeback hopes.

Shaver finished with 28 points on 10-of-14 shooting from the field and 4 of 8 3-point attempts and Emmanuel Akot had 23 including 4 of 8 on 3-point shots. Akot also had five assists. Naje Smith scored 11 points off the bench and Mladen Armus had 10 rebounds.

Boise State shot 50% from the field, making 30 of 60 attempts.

“Being off the court for so long, we had to get our rhythm back and just play basketball,” Akot said. “We hadn’t played basketball for too long. Just getting our rhythm back, playing, communicating and getting out there and running up and down helped us prepare for this game.”

Akot scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half during a big surge. The second of back-to-back 3-pointers extended Boise State’s lead to 32-17.

Armus got an easy basket off a Max Rice assist with 1:21 to go, extending the Broncos’ lead back to 17 points at 37-20.

Boise State led again by 17 points at 41-24 before settling for a 41-27 lead going into intermission.

The Broncos return to action on Saturday at New Mexico (7-9, 0-3). Tip is at 3:30 and the game will be televised on FS1.

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