BOISE, Idaho — Boise State did it again, winning on the road against UNLV 86-76 on Saturday night improving to 23-6 overall and 14-2 in the Mountain West Conference.
Broncos hit the 𝐉𝐀𝐂𝐊𝐏𝐎𝐓 and win 86-76!— Boise State MBB (@BroncoSportsMBB) February 27, 2022
Shaver Jr poured in 27 points to lead your Broncos!
Kigab also eclipsed the 1⃣,0⃣0⃣0⃣ career point mark with his 23 point performance!#BleedBlue | #WhatsNext pic.twitter.com/J1nYJdyO98
Next up BSU hosts Nevada in their final home game on Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. a win on senior night would guarantee the Broncos at least a share of the conference regular-season title.
It's hard to single out one person on this team, but one of the reasons Boise State has been so good this year is the play and leadership of Abu Kigab, who is the only Bronco that is not eligible to return next season.
"He is the thermostat when you walk into the room, he sets the temperature," said head coach Leon Rice. "It’s important to have a guy like that.”
Kigab's collegiate career began at Oregon, but during his time there the Ducks played Boise State three times and one of those included a buzzer-beater by current BSU assistant coach Lexus Williams.
"I knew I wanted to be here I loved their playstyle, I love how they moved the ball, their defensive schemes their offensive schemes and I felt I could be a part of something special," said Kigab.
His energy and effort on the floor is a beautiful blend of defense, rebounding and attacking the basket, Kigab leads the Broncos averaging 14 points a game and he also chips in six rebounds a game.
And he's a coach's dream, his leadership on the court has been so crucial for the development of this team as the Broncos have different guys doing special things on different nights.
"That is what is so cool about this team they are all so different, they all bring something so important to this team and the great things he brings he’s a warrior, the other guys look to him for that, hey we are going to be fine we got Abu in there fighting," said Rice. "He means so much to me personally, this program and this team."
Boise State defeated San Diego State in another defensive battle that came down to free throws. The 58-57 win keeps BSU in first place as they improve to 13-2 in the Mountain West with three games to play. The Broncos play at UNLV on Saturday. pic.twitter.com/lJNFxrQRr5— Steve Dent (@idahodent) February 23, 2022
Even though it wasn't plan A for the Ontario, Canada native who played his high school ball in California, Kigab called it a blessing to end up at Boise State.
"I’ve learned so many valuable lessons here I’m going to take with me the rest of my life," said Kigab. "If you asked me if I would have ended up at Boise State I probably would have told you no, but this is the best thing that ever happened in my life."
If there is a silver lining to the pandemic, Bronco Nation got an extra year out of Kigab who will be celebrated on senior night for the second year in a row.
"I’ll definitely take it," said Kigab. "I’ll take a second senior night why not."
It will be a bittersweet night for Coach Rice who has been counting down the minutes and fans only have 40 remaining to watch Kigab and this Boise State team get after it in Extra Mile Arena.
"This will be a team that we will all remember for a long time and probably this community will remember," said Rice. "It’s your last chance to come out and see him and it means everything to Abu."
Kigab eclipsed 1,000 points in his BSU career in the win against UNLV, Marcus Shaver Jr. led Boise State with 27 in the game he now has more than 1,500 career points.
Boise State hosts Nevada in their final home game on Tuesday and then heads to Colorado State for their final game of the regular season on Saturday.