Rivalry weekend set for Vandal men

SATURDAY NIGHT THE UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO WILL HOST IN-STATE RIVAL BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY in a key Western Athletic Conference matchup. The Vandals (12-6, 5-1 WAC) and Broncos (11-7, 4-2 WAC) meet for the 89th time, with BSU holding a slim 47-41 edge. Idaho has won three of the last four, but BSU won 14 straight from 2001-08. Tipoff for Saturday's clash is 7pm PST in the Cowan Spectrum.

Click for Complete Game Notes: Idaho OFFICIAL Men's Basketball Site

Game 19: Idaho (12-6, 5-1) vs. Boise State (11-7, 4-2)
When: January 22, 2011 (7:07 p.m. PT)
Where: Moscow, Idaho (Cowan Spectrum)
Radio: Vandal Radio Network/VandalXtra (online)
Television: WAC Sports Network [Dave Harbison, Dave Bollwinkel]
Online Video: VandalXtra
Live Stats: www.GoVandals.com

A Look at the Broncos
Boise State opened the WAC season with a four-game win streak and the Broncos are off to an 11-7 overall record and 4-2 conference tab. BSU features the WAC's top scoring offense at 75.4 points per game, and has two among the league's top five individual scorers, in Robert Arnold (15.5/gm) and La'Shard Anderson (14.8/gm). The Broncos are also among the nation's top takeaway teams, with 9.4 steals per game (15th in the NCAA).

Head Coach Leon Rice
Leon Rice is in his first season at Idaho and his first as a Division I head coach. A long-time Gonzaga assistant, Rice spent 11 years on the Bulldog bench before taking the BSU job. Rice is a 1986 graduate of Washington State.

Vandals vs. Broncos
Idaho will play Boise State in Moscow as a conference opponent for the last time on Saturday. The Broncos hold a 47-41 edge in the all-time series (Idaho won five games between 1934 and 1949, before BSU was a four-year institution). The Vandals have won three of the last four meetings, but Boise State won 14 consecutive games in the series from 2001-08. Half of the games between these two teams (44) have been decided by single digits, and 21 more final victory margins were less than five points.

Give and They Will Take
Boise State enters the week ranked sixth in the NCAA in turnover margin (+5.6) and 15th in the nation in steals per game (9.4). Their opponents commit 18.4 turnovers per game. Senior guard La'Shard Anderson leads the Broncos and ranks seventh in the NCAA with 2.8 steals per game. Idaho's assist-to-turnover ratio (1.11) in WAC play ranks second in the conference.

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines
Idaho has raced out to a 5-1 record in the Western Athletic Conference this season, including five straight WAC wins. The last time Idaho started 5-1 in conference play was the 1993-94 season in the Big Sky. The team's last 6-1 start was one year earlier, in 1992-93. It's also been 12 years since Idaho last won five conference games in a row. You have to go to 1988-89 to find the most recent conference win streak greater than five games. That team ran off nine consecutive conference victories.

Out on the Open Road
Dating back to its 69-65 victory at Oregon, Idaho has won five consecutive road games. The last time Idaho had a similar road streak was during the 1988-89 season. The Vandals haven't won six in a row on the road since 1981-82, and haven't knocked out seven consecutive road victories since the 1962-63 season.

Vandals Set Sights on Attendance Record
Idaho Athletics is urging all fans to bring a friend to Saturday's in-state rivalry clash against Boise State, with the 2004 season's 5,676 Cowan Spectrum attendance record in its sights. The same directive is in place for the women's game at 4 p.m., where the Spectrum record of 2,115, also from 2004, hopes to fall. Tickets to the game will be sold as a two-for-one special, as one ticket gets you into both games. Reserved seating is $17, while general admission tickets are $15 and youth tickets are $10.

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