Breakdown: Fresno State vs. Boise State

Tyler Johnson

Fresno State has just four games remaining in MWC play starting with Boise State Saturday evening at the Save Mart Center. The Bulldogs look to improve their MWC Tournament seeding against the Broncos. Check inside for the breakdown…

Fresno State 9-16 (3-9) vs. Boise State 17-8 (5-6)

PG: Allen Huddleston (6-2, 185, Jr.) vs. Derrick Marks (6-3, 206, So.)

Derrick Marks went off for 30 points against Fresno State in January on a 9-of-14 shooting night and a perfect 12-of-12 at the free throw line. In Mountain West play, Marks is averaging a third best 16.8 points per game. Allen Huddleston had a season-high 20 points against Boise State off the bench and gets the nod to start Saturday night.

Advantage: Boise State

SG: Kevin Olekaibe (6-2, 180, Jr.) vs. Jeff Elorriaga (6-2, 180, Jr.)

Boise State's Jeff Elorriaga jacked up 12 three-point shots, making five, in their win over Air Force on Wednesday. It was a welcome sight for the Broncos as the sharpshooter had made just 1-of-12 attempts in their three games prior. Kevin Olekaibe is shooting just 24% from the field in his last four games after two consecutive big scoring nights.

Advantage: Boise State

SF: Tyler Johnson (6-2, 180, Jr.) vs. Igor Hadziomerovic (6-4, 202, So.)

Tyler Johnson is the only consistent double-digit scorer for the Bulldogs, averaging 13.9 points per game in conference play. Johnson has struggled from three-point range recently making just seven of his last 26 attempts, dropping him to 42% on the season. Igor Hadziomerovic is a glue guy for the Broncos, averaging 5.7 points per game from the small forward position.

Advantage: Fresno State

PF: Braeden Anderson (6-9, 235, Fr.) vs. Anthony Drmic (6-6, 196, So.)

Anthony Drmic is second in scoring in Mountain West play at 17 points per game. The sophomore is shooting 38% from three-point range in conference play on 69 attempts. Drmic has averaged 22.3 points in his last four home games, but just 12.8 points in his last four road games. Braeden Anderson has averaged 4.8 points and 3.8 rebounds through five games as a Bulldog.

Advantage: Boise State

C: Tanner Giddings (6-10, 225, Fr.) vs. Ryan Watkins (6-9, 229, Jr.)

Ryan Watkins almost single-handedly out-rebounded Fresno State earlier this season as Watkins brought down 18 of the Broncos 34 rebounds compared to the Bulldogs' 23 boards. Watkins will split minutes with 6-foot-7, 251-pound bruiser Kenny Buckner. Tanner Giddings' mid-range jumper gives the Bulldogs another option in the half court offense.

Advantage: Boise State

Benches: Four Bulldogs that started against Boise State earlier this season are set to come off the bench Saturday night. Guard Mikey Thompson leads the bench scoring for the Broncos at 8.9 points per game. Guard Thomas Bropleh and center Buckner round out the eight-man rotation.

Advantage: Fresno State

Coaches: Rodney Terry vs. Leon Rice

Boise State Head Coach Leon Rice holds a 2-to-1 advantage in the win column in head-to-head games versus Fresno State's Rodney Terry. Terry looks for a second straight season split against Rice's Broncos.

Advantage: Boise State

Intangibles:

Boise State has struggled on the road in conference play recently. The Broncos have lost their last five straight road games with all but one loss being by a double-digit margin. Fresno State looks to get consecutive wins over Division 1 opponents for the first time since November.

Advantage: Fresno State

Final Analysis/Prediction:

Fresno State came up big in crunch time against Nevada in a situation they have struggled with recently. The Bulldogs carry the momentum into Saturday night against a Boise State team that hasn't been playing their best on the road. Fresno State does just enough to contain Marks and Drmic and come out on top of a back and forth game.

PREDICTION: Fresno State 63, Boise State 61



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