Near-perfect night from Degenhart propels Boise State past Colorado State

Tyson Degenhart was one made shot away from history.

The sophomore forward from Spokane, Washington, sank 10-of-11 from the floor to lead the Boise State men’s basketball team to an 80-59 victory over Colorado State on Saturday at ExtraMile Arena.

Had he not missed one shot late in the second half, Degenhart would have bettered the program record for most makes without a miss. Tanoka Beard owns the record, making 10-of-10 against Southern Illinois on March 3, 1991.

“It’s interesting, because I see these guys all the time, and I’m not surprised,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. “When they do something like that, I’m like, ‘Well, that’s Tyson.’ I’m not surprised. We’ve watched him for a long time. I’ve seen him do that kind of thing.

“I’ve got a bunch of guys like that right now, especially that first unit. When they shoot, you think it’s going in.”

Degenhart finished with a game-leading 22 points to go with four rebounds and three assists.

“We just got the ball moving,” Degenhart said. “We had 19 assists. Our goal was 16 — to have eight in each half. We were just moving the ball really well and we were getting each other open shots and everything was falling for us.”

Boise State (17-5, 7-2 MW) made its first five shots — including three 3-pointers — to race out to a 13-4 lead. The Broncos knocked down 7-of-10 from beyond the arc and shot 71.4% from the floor in the first half to take as much as a 20-point lead, 39-19, with 4:10 to the break.

Junior Chibuzo Agbo connected on 3-of-4 from the floor and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line for 14 of his 17 points in the first half.

Rice said he challenged the Broncos before the game to record at least 16 assists, and they finished with a season-high tying 19. Agbo led the way in that department with a career-high seven assists. Going into Saturday’s game, Agbo had a total of 13 assists all season.

“The coaching staff challenged me this week just to be more than a shooter, get other guys involved and be able to get some assists,” Agbo said. “That’s something I was focused on this week, and I think it translated well today.”

Boise State limited the Rams (10-12, 2-7) to an 0-for-8 performance from beyond the arc in the first half and 4-for-22 overall (18.2%).

“I think we have an emphasis of running guys off the 3 and just being there in the help defense and peeling,” Agbo said. “Coach is getting on our butt about it every day. If you don’t have your stick hand up, you’re running, so it’s getting conditioned into us every practice.”

Colorado State got as close as 51-45 with 14:57 to play using a 9-0 spurt, but the Broncos locked down on defense, forcing the Rams to miss their final seven shot attempts to cruise to the easy win.

“These guys are all settled into how they’re playing with each other and that’s powerful,” Rice said.

The Broncos are back on the road for a Mountain West matchup at Air Force. Tipoff is 7 p.m. Tuesday at Clune Arena, and the game will be broadcast on Altitude Sports, or listen on the radio on KBOI 670 AM.

Point guard Mary Kay Naro and the Boise State women’s basketball team fell 69-62 to Wyoming on Saturday at ExtraMile Arena.
Point guard Mary Kay Naro and the Boise State women’s basketball team fell 69-62 to Wyoming on Saturday at ExtraMile Arena.

Women’s basketball: Cowgirls tame Broncos

Hindsight is always 20-20.

Just ask Boise State women’s basketball coach Gordy Presnell.

Reserve freshman guard Tatum Thompson scored eight of her 12 points in the final 2 minutes of the third quarter for a three-point Boise State lead, but Presnell went with his starting rotation to begin the fourth quarter.

The result was a 69-62 loss to Wyoming on Saturday afternoon in a Mountain West matchup at ExtraMile Arena.

“She’s gonna be one of the premier players to ever play here,” Presnell said. “She’s so athletic. She’s long, she can play multiple positions. But world-record substituting on my part. We have our four freshmen out there and we come all the way back, we’re up (three) and I go back to the (starters) to start the fourth and we didn’t do very well.

“So that’s on me. I mean, obviously everyone who watched the game can see who’s playing well and who isn’t. You go back to what your safety is .... and what a horrible substitution on my part.”

Thompson injured her foot during a preseason scrimmage and missed the Broncos’ entire preseason schedule. She played for the first time in Boise State’s Mountain West opener Dec. 31, a 73-62 win over San Jose State.

“The first game I was so excited to go in and just start playing,” Thompson said. “I think I’m getting a little more feel, but just gotta keep working on the little things.”

After taking a 53-50 lead at the end of the third quarter, the Broncos went cold over the final 10 minutes, shooting a combined 2-for-14 from the field, including missing their last 10 attempts.

Despite the cold streak, the Broncos were within 65-61 after a pair of made free throws from Thompson with 2:54 on the clock.

“I think we’re definitely going in the right direction,” Thompson said. “But it’s just the little things. We keep saying in the locker room after games we need to work on the little things, like for me I missed three free throws, so we have to start implementing how we’re gonna fix that.”

Freshman guard Mya Hansen got the Broncos off to a fast start, knocking down a 3-pointer on the opening possession as Boise State built a 7-2 lead. But the Broncos allowed a pair of 6-0 runs to let the Cowgirls back in the game, trailing 20-16 after the first quarter.

The Broncos (9-13, 4-5 MW) tied things up at 20-all on a pair of free throws from sophomore forward Trista Hull with 8:48 on the clock in the second quarter. Then the Cowgirls rattled off 11 unanswered points to take a 31-20 lead. The Broncos got as close as 36-33 with 19 seconds until halftime before two free throws from the Cowgirls gave Wyoming a 38-33 lead at the break.

While the Cowgirls shot 48.3% from the field in the first half, the Broncos stayed within striking distance thanks to a 9-for-10 performance from the free-throw line and a 4-for-5 clip from 3-point range.

Junior forward Abby Muse joined Thompson in double figures with 12 points and four rebounds, and freshman guard Natalie Pasco chipped in 10 points, including a 2-for-2 performance from 3-point range.

Boise State will play its third game in five days when it hosts San Diego State on Monday. Tipoff is 6:30 p.m. at ExtraMile Arena, and the game will be streamed live on the Mountain West Network, or listen on the radio on KBOI 670 AM.


Cartier 3-4 2-4 8, Lake 3-6 1-2 9, Rivera 4-10 0-0 8, Stevens 6-12 5-6 19, Tonje 4-11 0-0 8, Moors 2-4 1-3 5, Jackson 0-4 0-0 0, Palmer 1-4 0-0 2, Hebb 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-56 9-15 59.

Degenhart 10-11 1-2 22, N.Smith 6-8 3-3 16, Agbo 4-9 5-5 17, M.Rice 5-12 2-3 14, Shaver 3-6 0-0 8, Whiting 1-2 0-0 3, B.Smith 0-1 0-0 0, K.Young 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-49 11-13 80.

Halftime—Boise St. 44-29. 3-Point Goals—Colorado St. 4-22 (Lake 2-5, Stevens 2-5, Jackson 0-1, Palmer 0-2, Rivera 0-3, Tonje 0-6), Boise St. 11-24 (Agbo 4-9, Shaver 2-4, M.Rice 2-6, Degenhart 1-1, Whiting 1-1, N.Smith 1-2, B.Smith 0-1). Rebounds—Colorado St. 27 (Cartier 6), Boise St. 24 (Agbo 6). Assists—Colorado St. 10 (Stevens 5), Boise St. 19 (Agbo 7). Total Fouls—Colorado St. 10, Boise St. 15. A—12,021 (12,480).