BOISE, Idaho — The Boise State Broncos have won nine in a row and they improved to 3-0 in the Mountain West Conference by defeating New Mexico in the Pit on Saturday 71-63.
The Broncos shot just 35% from the field and 55% from the foul line, but this team plays tenacious team defense and they get after it on the glass which can help them overcome a poor shooting night.
"What a great effort by our guys they have these three qualities that travel," said head coach Leon Rice. "We defend, we rebound, we play hard and we got some toughness to us."
Boise State dominated the boards against New Mexico outrebounding them 52-28 and that included 25 offensive rebounds the most any team at Boise State has gotten since 2010.
We knew they weren’t a great rebounding team so we decided to really go at the glass really try to be aggressive there and get as many as we can," said senior forward Naje Smith. "It really helped us."
Boise State had four players in double figures led by Marcus Shaver Jr. with 18 while Mladen Armus led the way with 13 boards, 10 of those coming on the offensive end despite limited minutes because of foul trouble.
"That is why this team is good we have a bunch of guys that care about one thing and that is accomplishing the mission," said Rice. "They are not worried about their stats."
The nine-game winning streak might be even more impressive when considering the circumstances, BSU had three games postponed because of COVID-19 complications and they didn't play for a full two weeks.
“It is it is tough and there is the whole dealing with stuff we have never dealt with," said Rice. "We were supposed to play Air Force next but no we played New Mexico it’s like whoa."
The wins against Nevada and Air Force were the first two games in a five stretch where Boise State will play five games in five different states in a week and a half, at least their next game is at home against Air Force.
"It’s been crazy dealing with flights, trying to get good meals and trying to do good on our sleep schedule," said Smith. "We really want to attack everything with travel and do our best to be prepared for the games."
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. against Air Force, then BSU plays at Utah State on Thursday and at San Diego State on Saturday.