BOISE, Idaho--Boise State waltzed to a 100-36 win over Willamette last night in Taco Bell Arena. Coach Leon Rice's team ran to a 52-21 lead at halftime, and then outscored the Bearcats 48-15 in the second half. Willamette was just 5-of-34 shooting in the second stanza.
Rice was glad to see the bench play well: “It’s exactly what we needed, and the gauntlet we just ran through was tough on us and we were tired, beat up a little bit, down in the dumps feeling sorry for ourselves – which we don’t allow – so it was nice to blow out the carburetors a little bit and let the horses run. It was great that we had a crowd come out and get to see them because that means a lot to these guys and I know it was a cold December night here in Boise, and we had a pretty decent crowd that supported us. We have a big gauntlet coming up. It starts Saturday at Portland, and then we have LMU at home – who’s been winning games now – and then we got the Ducks. So we've got three tough games coming up, and three really important games for us so it was really good to have this game.”
Boise State's 64-point win is the second-largest margin of victory in school history, behind only the 67 point win over Walla Walla in 2013. The 36 points allowed are tied for the third-fewest by a Boise State team, matching the 36 given up against San Jose State in January of 2015. The all-time low was also set last season, when the Broncos allowed Abilene Christian a total of 33 points.
Willamette shot 22.8 percent (13-57) for the game, the second-lowest field goal percentage allowed a Bronco opponent. In the 2014 game with Abilene Christian, Boise State allowed 20 percent (11-55) from the floor.
Lonnie Jackson led the Broncos with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including 5-9 from three-point range. Chandler Hutchison poured in 17 points, while freshman Paris Austin had 16 and James Webb III 13.
For Webb, it was his third double-double of the season, and he achieved it in just 18 minutes of action. Austin had career highs in points, rebounds (six), assists (four) and steals (two).
Austin said the Broncos have been dialed in defensively, "That was a big focus; you know defense is basically everything for us. We're not the most athletic team, we're not the quickest, [and] so defense plays a big part for us."
Nine Broncos combined for 20 assists, led by Montigo Alford with five. Boise State is 37-1 since the start of the 2011-12 season when recording at least 15 assists.
Boise State goes out on the road again to play Portland before opening a five-game home stand December 9 against Loyola Marymount.