ExtraMile Arena in Boise, Idaho, will be the scene when the Boise State Broncos host the Bulldogs of Fresno State Friday night at 9 pm EST in the finale of a 2-game set. The Broncos are favored by 14-point, which is down from 14.5-points at the opening, while the total stands at 137-points, up from 136.5-points.
The Bulldogs suddenly find themselves badly in need of a win as they enter this contest seeking to end a current losing skid. However, they must get more production from their other starters not named Orlando Robinson as the guard shot 6-16 from the field to lead Fresno State with 17 points and 9 boards in their loss to Boise State Wednesday night. On the other hand, the remaining 4 starters accounted for just 20 points while going a combined 7-23 FG while connecting on just 2 of 10 attempts from deep as Fresno State ended the game shooting 38%. Furthermore, after winning 3-straight against the spread, the Bulldogs dropped their last 3 outings versus the number.
The Broncos continue to play well on both ends of the court as their offense posted 90 points in a blowout victory on the road versus the Wyoming Cowboys a week ago while following this up with a blowout win versus Fresno State Wednesday night. And despite the team shooting under 40% from the floor, leading scorer Derrick Alston, Jr. atoned for a 4-point outing versus Wyoming to post 21 points on an efficient night. The Broncos were also able to cover for the 3rd-straight game as their were successful versus the Bulldogs as 14.5-point favorites.
Fresno State has picked up wins in 5 of their last 10 matchups versus Boise State while the Broncos halted a 2-game home losing skid to their conference foe last night. And while the Bulldogs have covered against the spread in 2 of their last 3 road contests, versus Boise State, the Broncos have covered in 3 of their last 5 home meetings versus the Bulldogs.
Bulldogs can get to .500 with a winAfter beginning conference play with a record of 0-3, the Bulldogs were able to reel off 3-straight conference victories before falling in 3-straight outings with their last being a 22-point road loss to the Broncos Wednesday night. Fresno State's defense, which is only giving up 69 points per game on 41% shooting on the year, was stellar throughout the contest until they ultimately allowed the Broncos to pull away in the second half outscoring them 45-21 in the final 20 minutes of the contest. Important to note that the Bulldogs lost the rebounding battle by a margin of 38-30 for the contest, including giving up 13 offensive boards to the Broncos.
And while the defense could not keep up its aggressiveness throughout the course of the contest, the Bulldogs would have had a chance to be victorious in this contest were it not for another lackluster offensive performance to where the team hit just 19 of 50 shots while converting on only 3 of their 13 attempts from deep. Again, Robinson (18 ppg, 10 rebs) was was the shining start yet again for the Bulldogs on both ends of the floor as he recorded 2 blocks while coming one board shy of a double-double. However, moving forward the team must get more from guard Isaiah Hill (11 ppg) who went just 1-10 from the floor in the contest in addition to hitting just one of his 5 attempts from long-range, decreasing his shooting average on the year to 42% (33% from 3-point range).
Guard Jordan Campbell (6 ppg, 3 rebs) has been accurate from the floor in 2020 (46% FG); However, has only 3 double-digit performances in the last 10 for the Bulldogs. Furthermore, Forward Christian Gay (6 ppg, 4 rebs) is making 60% of his shots, but has not been able to get many shots off on a consistent basis thus far in the year.
Alston, Jr. leads Broncos to 13th-win of the yearAlston, Jr. (17 ppg, 4 rebs) posted 20 or more points in 6 of the last 10 games for the Broncos as he was able to recover from a less than stellar outing versus the Cowboys while increasing his shooting percentage from the floor to 45% in addition to 38% from long-range. However, the guard had help in this contest from forward Abu Kigab (14 ppg, 6 rebs), who posted 15 points and 11 boards, his 2nd double-double in 3 games, along with guard Marcus Shaver, Jr. (14 ppg, 5 rebs), who finished with 17 points on an efficient night. Important to note that Shaver, Jr. also recovered well from a 7-point output versus Wyoming January 11th. For the year, the guard is connecting on 47% of his shots along with 44% from deep.
Despite huge efforts from these players, Boise State, which is posting 81 points per game on an outstanding 47% shooting as a team, probably played their worst offensive outing of the year making just 26 of their 67 shots in addition to connecting on 6 of 25 shots from the arc. In fact, Alston, Jr., Kigab, along with Shaver, Jr. went a combined 6-17 in this area.
Nonetheless, the defense should receive the bulk of the credit for their win over the Bulldogs Wednesday night as the unit certainly clamped down in the 2nd half to allow just 21 points, this after going into the half down by 2-points.Shaver, Jr. recorded 3 steals in the contest while the Broncos forced a total of 15 turnovers.
Stats & Trends
- Bulldogs are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600.
- Bulldogs are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Bulldogs are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 road games.
- Broncos are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
- Broncos are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Broncos are 6-1-1 ATS in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400.
The Bulldogs continue to struggle, particularly on the offensive end in 2021. And with the Broncos performing as one of the better defensive teams in the conference, I have trouble believing that the road team will keep this contest within reach. Furthermore, Fresno State has stunk it up on the road in recent matchups (0-5) while the Broncos have not only picked up wins in 6-straight on their home court, but has also racked up a record of 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 at ExtraMile Arena. One should certainly look for Boise State to shine yet again in this contest as they will cover the double-digits versus the struggling Bulldogs.