Boise State Bronco Win Over Creighton: Biggest Win in History of Basketball Program

Crossposted on Daily Kos

"Boise State basketball coach Leon Rice and his players knew enough to get out of Derrick Marks' way. The sophomore guard did the rest," according to the Idaho Statesman. Marks scored a career-high 35 points, leading Boise State to a stunning 83-70 upset No. 11 Creighton, on Nov. 28. This result is the greatest victory the team has ever scored. Just take a look at these facts:

Marks hit 18-straight in the second half, 28 of his overall points in the second half before 16,364 shocked fans at CenturyLink Center Omaha. The Broncos, who played No. 13 Michigan State within four points on the road a week earlier, beat a ranked opponent for the first time in four seasons; and on the road for the first time since March 2005.

Creighton came in with all six of its wins by double figures, and the Bluejays were impressive in weekend wins over Wisconsin and Arizona State in Las Vegas. Creighton hadn't lost a regular-season November home game since 1989, a span of 42 games.

The Bluejays are the highest-ranked team Boise State has ever beaten. Prior to this game the best victory was over a No. 15 Washington team in 1998. Boise State was 1-18 against ranked teams on the road entering the game. The lone win was against Nevada in March 2005. It was Boise State's first win over a ranked opponent since they beat Utah State in February 2009. The Broncos were 5-34 all-time against ranked teams.

"The players and coaches did a great job of figuring out that Derrick was the hot hand. We kept running different plays for him to get the ball in his wheelhouse," Rice said. "And credit Derrick, he made some tough shots." Boise State shot the lights out in the first half, making seven straight three-pointers after an initial miss and would lead by as much as 39-28 with 3:10 remaining before the break.

Boise State led 39-33 after shooting 64 percent from the field in the first half. The Broncos made seven straight 3-pointers and were 9-of-13 from beyond the arc in the first 20 minutes.

Marks 35 points are tied for 10th-most by a Bronco in a game in school history. Rice showed his team the film from the end of the close loss to Michigan State, before the Creighton game. "I was just in the zone," Marks told the Idaho Statesman. "I just felt like I had to do that so we could win the game. We reviewed the mistakes we made. I knew we'd have to deal with that again," he said. Boise State did not trail after the first minute.

At one point late in the second half, Boise State "came apart and they answered a little bit. But we put ourselves back together. It's something we didn't do against Michigan State," Rice said. "I'm proud of how they finished."

"We just had no answer for them on the defensive end of the floor. I thought they outhustled us, I thought they communicated better than we did," Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. "If you're watching that game tonight, it was obvious who the better team was tonight, and it wasn't us."

Marks' 35 points were 10th-most in school history and 11 more than his previous best. Boise State's nine three-pointers at halftime were the most by a Bluejay opponent in a first half in at least 10 years. Boise State outrebounded Creighton 31-19.

Nonetheless, with all the honor and glory that comes with this accomplishment, Rice kept things in perspective. "It's a great win for our program," he said. "But we don't want to be defined by one win in November."