SMU wind key game against Boise State

There have been many games this season when it seemed like the Boise State men’s basketball team couldn’t miss.

It felt like the exact opposite Monday night at Moody Coliseum in Dallas.

SMU put an end to one of the Broncos’ best starts in nearly 30 years with an 86-63 victory on national television.

The Mustangs shot a season-best 59 percent from the floor and 50 percent from 3-point range (11-of-22) while outrebounding the Broncos 37-30. Boise State entered the game averaging 11.4 3-pointers per game and shooting a collective 41 percent from deep.

But that hot shooting finally met a roadblock. The Broncos were just 2-of-14 on 3s in the first half and made 10 of 32 overall. Three of those triples came with the game well out of reach.

“We didn’t make shots until the very end, and we didn’t give Chandler (Hutchison) much help offensively because we didn’t make any of those,” Boise State coach Leon Rice told the Bronco Radio Network. “They’re a tough team to drive on. We couldn’t go by them, and they really extended their defense to guard the 3.”

Hutchison led the Broncos in scoring for the fourth straight game with a game-best 18 points, six rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Justinian Jessup was the only other Bronco to score in double figures with 11.

While the Broncos struggled to connect, SMU had its best shooting night of the season as five Mustangs reached double digits, including 16 apiece from Jimmy Whitt, Jahmal McMurray and Ethan Chargois. SMU also dunked on the Broncos seven times, scored 30 points in the paint and made 11 3-pointers for its 30th consecutive home victory, the second-longest streak in the nation.

The game was important to the NCAA Tournament aspirations of both teams.

“We feel like this is a really big game for us. Honestly, it comes down to some preparation and incredible effort,” SMU coach Tim Jankovich told ESPNU after the game. “Our guys played so hard and were so on-point on so many things. We played good offensively, but you weren’t going to win this game if you didn’t guard, and I just thought we guarded our tail off.”

Boise State — which received nine votes in the latest USA Today Coaches’ Poll released Monday morning — had one of its slowest starts to the season against the Mustangs (9-3). The Broncos (10-2) had just 22 points at halftime and were shooting 14 percent from 3-point range. The only time BSU had fewer points at halftime this season was when it scored 21 in the first half of a 75-64 loss to Iowa State in the title game of the Puerto Rico Tip-off.

“You look around the country, and nobody’s played 13 straight perfect games, or 12 straight perfect games,” Rice said. “You’re going to have some tough ones, and it’s how you respond to it.”

The Broncos will have a few days off for the Christmas break, but Rice said players will be back in Boise by Christmas Eve to begin preparations for their Mountain West home opener against Colorado State on Dec. 27.

Rachel Roberts: 208-377-6422, byrachelroberts

SMU 86, BOISE ST. 63

BOISE ST. (10-2): Haney 1-4 0-1 2, Sengfelder 3-10 0-0 9, Williams 1-3 0-0 2, Jessup 4-10 0-0 11, Hutchison 6-15 5-7 18, Wacker 0-0 0-0 0, Jorch 0-0 0-2 0, Dickinson 1-6 0-0 3, Christon 2-4 0-1 5, Harwell 1-1 0-1 2, Hobbs 3-7 2-2 8, Alston 0-0 0-0 0, Jardine 1-1 0-0 3. Totals 23-61 7-14 63. SMU (9-3): Chargois 6-10 2-3 16, Foster 3-10 2-2 9, Whitt 8-9 0-1 16, Emelogu 4-5 1-2 12, Milton 5-8 0-0 11, Agau 0-2 0-0 0, Ray 0-0 0-0 0, Landrum 0-0 0-0 0, Wilfong 1-1 0-0 2, Pyle 0-0 0-0 0, Douglas 0-0 4-4 4, McMurray 6-11 0-0 16. Totals 33-56 9-12 86. Halftime—SMU 33-22. 3-Point Goals—Boise St. 10-32 (Sengfelder 3-7, Jessup 3-8, Jardine 1-1, Christon 1-3, Hutchison 1-4, Dickinson 1-5, Williams 0-1, Haney 0-1, Hobbs 0-2), SMU 11-22 (McMurray 4-7, Emelogu 3-4, Chargois 2-3, Milton 1-3, Foster 1-4, Agau 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Boise St. 28 (Hutchison 6), SMU 36 (Chargois, Milton 7). Assists—Boise St. 13 (Dickinson 4), SMU 21 (Milton 7). Total Fouls—Boise St. 11, SMU 19. A—6,551 (7,000).

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