Max Rice and Tyson Degenhart have apparently done more than just impact the Boise State men’s basketball team during their time in Boise the past several years.
“They help old ladies across the street,” coach Leon Rice said with a laugh.
Degenhart and Rice really have done it all while wearing the Blue and Orange. Both have been big parts of the most successful run in program history and have helped the Broncos become yearly contenders in the Mountain West.
On Friday they achieved some individual success. Both Rice and Degenhart surpassed the 1,000 point mark – and in a span of barely two minutes – to help the Broncos beat Utah Valley 85-63 at ExtraMile Arena.
Rice and Degenhart became the 33rd and 34th members of the 1,000-point club at Boise State – but the first teammates to do it in the same game.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Leon Rice said. “Those two guys getting to 1,000 on the same night is really special because they’ve been so big in building this program and doing anything for the team. Tyson played the five (center), Max came off the bench all those years and got undervalued a little bit and had to scratch and claw to get any minutes here.
“Their stories are pretty amazing and they’ve just given so much to this program and we’ve won a lot of games because of those two. The 1,000 points equals a lot of wins they’ve been a big, big part of and it was neat they get to get it on the same night. It was pretty special.”
Rice surpassed the 1,000-point mark on a long 3-pointer with 3:20 left in the half. He finished with a team-high 22 points on 8 of 12 shooting in 35 minutes.
“To do it with him is awesome,” Max Rice said. “It’s an honor. It’s a credit to all the teammates I’ve had.”
Max Rice said he predicted to Degenhart before the season they were going to both get to 1,000 points in the same game.
“I had a plan and we executed it perfectly,” Rice said.
Degenhart’s milestone was much more anticlimactic. After missing a free throw which would have put him at 1,000, he reached 1,001 points on a goaltending call with 1:04 left in the half.
The junior finished with 13 points on 4 of 7 shooting in 25 minutes.
“It didn’t help I missed a free throw – I got fouled and I knew I was two away and left the first one short,” Degenhart said. “And then it was anticlimactic, it wasn’t as good as his (3-pointer), mine was on a goal-tend, but it’s two points either way.
“It’s a really cool accomplishment and I’m thankful for all the teammates I’ve had the past three years and the coaches and everyone supporting me and keeping it going. … It’s really cool. I don’t think it happens very often, and I’m glad it happened tonight and I got to do it with one of my best friends.”
Omar Stanley had 20 points for the second straight game and added seven rebounds, while Cam Martin had 10 points and six rebounds. Chibuzo Agbo also had 10 points for the Broncos, who finish the non-conference portion of their schedule at 9-4 ahead of Friday’s Mountain West opener at San Jose State.
Boise State shot 55.4 percent from the field and had a 42-24 edge on the glass against Utah Valley (6-7). The Broncos also held UVU to 38 percent shooting, including just 13.3 percent (2 of 15) from 3-point range.
But the story Friday was Degenhart and Rice, who combined to go just 5 of 25 from the field in a loss at Washington State prior to Christmas with both trying to reach 1,000 points in their home town of Spokane.
They accomplished the feat Friday – and etched their names into the Boise State record books in the process.
“And not just because of the scoring,” Leon Rice said. “This has been arguably one of the best runs in program history with the Mountain West Championship, second place (last year), back-to-back NCAA (Tournament appearances), the nation’s longest home winning streak and on and on, and those guys have been huge, huge parts of it because of what they’ll sacrifice to win.
“The 1,000 points is a pretty cool milestone because they know so much about this program. Max knows every 1,000 point scorer and who they are going way back. He knows about Tanaka Beard and Brian King and all those legends. He’s watched this program for 14 years and it means everything for him.”
One reason Leon Rice said both Degenahrt and Rice deserve credit? Because they sacrificed individual success and headlines for the betterment of the team.
“Sometimes because of who he is (Max) doesn’t get the phrase he deserves for all he does for the program and I could say the same thing about Tyson,” Leon Rice said. “Last year he helped us so much playing the five (center) and it was a complete sacrifice to be out of position.
“But it’s really who they are as people and that’s why we win when you are such high character guys. They aren’t perfect but they are coachable and great teammates and I’m just so proud to be able to call them Broncos for what they represent.”
WATCH THE LITHIA FORD OF POSTGAME SHOW FROM BOISE STATE’S 85-63 WIN OVER UTAH VALLEY