BOISE, Idaho--Boise State opens a five-game homestand tonight against Loyola Marymount with momentum on their minds.
The Bronco basketball team has seen its share of road games and tournaments. With a 5-4 season record, including three losses to Top 15 teams, the Broncos frankly must start building some wins into their resume. Boise State is currently ranked #137 in the RPI ratings.
The Lions are in the second year under coach Mike Dunlap, a 1980 graduate of the school. Dunlap returned to the campus after more than 30 years of college and NBA coaching experience. Dunlap sports a 336-128 record (.724) at the collegiate level, and most recently was the head coach of the Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA in 2012-13.
Boise State and Loyola Marymount met last season in the second game of the LMU Classic, with the Broncos pulling away down the stretch for a 77-69 victory. The game featured 10 lead changes and 10 ties, with Boise State using a 12-0 late run to post the win. Nick Duncan drilled five of Boise State's eight three-pointers that were the difference in the game.
LMU ranks 8th in the nation in free-throw shooting with 77.9 percent, and the Lions are 19th nationally in turnover margin. Other than those impressive statistics, the Broncos and Lions are very much like each other, as Loyola has posted six straight games with at least eight three-pointers.
The Lion defense features senior Marin Momar, who is third all-time at Loyola with 101 blocks. Momar is the only four-year senior on the roster. As the season began, Dunlap featured a 15-man roster, with nine of those players not in an LMU uniform last season. Dunlap's incoming class includes NJCAA Player of the Year Brandon Brown from Phoenix College in Arizona.
6-foot-8 forward Adom Jacko averages 14.5 points a game and is hitting at a 55.4 percent clip from the field. Steven Haney is averaging 9.9 a game, while 6-7 guard/forward Joshua Spears from Australia is averaging 8 a game in the Lions' balanced lineup. Coach Dunlap has been playing 10 players regularly in each game.
Tipoff between Boise State and Loyola is set for 7 p.m. in Taco Bell Arena.