NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – The Boise State men’s basketball team got 21 points from Tyson Degenhart and 17 points from Naje Smith to roll past CSUN, 74-48, on the road Tuesday night at the Matadome.
The Broncos (5-4) shot a season-high 53.6 percent from the field, made nine 3-pointers and had a 41-20 rebounding edge.
Boise State led 43-33 early in the second half before ripping off a 22-2 run to put the game away. A dunk from Smith capped the run and put the Broncos up 65-35 with 6:57 to go.
“We set a tone early and I was really, really impressed that we kept that tone up the whole game,” Boise State coach Leon Rice told Bronco Nation News during the live postgame show. “I really think our offense is starting to catch up and starting to click. Guys are figuring out their roles and sometimes that just takes time.”
Here is how the game played out…
PLAYER OF THE GAME: NAJE SMITH
Degenhart had 21 points but Smith earns the nod due to his three blocks and thunderous dunk to go along with his 17 points. Smith went a perfect 7 for 7 from the field and hit all three of his 3-point attempts. He also added four rebounds and a steal while providing great energy and production in 24 minutes off the bench.
“He’s an energy guy,” Rice said. “He had some blocked shots, he flies around and he’s doing a great job for us. He deserves everything he gets.”
Boise State had its biggest halftime lead of the season at 17 points but CSUN came out hot to start the second half and cut the deficit to 10 at 43-33. But a Smith putback ignited a 16-0 run to put the Broncos up 59-33, and they pushed the run to 22-2 on Smith’s dunk (he was given a technical for hanging on the rim) to go up 65-35.
2 – Walk-on Sam Winter scored the first points of his Boise State career, making a layup in the final minutes to earn the biggest cheer of the night from the Boise State bench.
7 – Point guard Emmanuel Akot had seven assists and no turnovers to go along with his nine points. Akot is just the fifth different player in 12 years under coach Leon Rice to have at least seven assists and no turnovers.
12 – Marcus Shaver Jr. had 12 points for the Broncos and has reached double figures in seven of the eight games he has played.
20 – Boise State had 20 assists on 30 made field goals. It’s the 19th time in Rice’s 12 years in Boise, and the second time this season, that the Broncos had at least 20 assists in a game.
21 – Degenhart is the first freshman to score at least 20 points for the Broncos since Justinian Jessup did it on Nov. 25, 2016.
48 – CSUN scored just 48 points on 34 percent shooting (17 of 50), including just 1 of 10 from 3-point range. The Broncos have held six of nine opponents to less than 60 points and haven’t given up more than 70 in any non-overtime games.
“I think we’re definitely starting to build something. The Bakersfield loss wasn’t one we wanted, none of the losses were, but we’re really starting to find our roles, really starting to gel as a team and our chemistry is really going up right now.”
Boise State returns to Boise for the first of three straight home games Friday night against Prairie View A&M. Tip off is 7 p.m. at ExtraMile Arena.
POSTGAME SHOW WITH INTERVIEWS WITH COACH LEON RICE, TYSON DEGENHART AND NAJE SMITH