How to watch, predictions and odds

Throughout its five-game winning streak, the Boise State men’s basketball team has consistently limited the opposing team’s top scorer.

The Broncos need to continue that trend Friday night when they take on New Mexico at 9 p.m. Mountain Time at The Pit in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Lobos have three of Mountain West’s top five scorers, junior guard Jamal Mashburn Jr. (No. 1, 18.3 ppg), senior guard Jaelen House (No. 2, 17.4 ppg) and graduating transfer forward Morris Udeze ( #5). 15.7 ppg).

The good news is that defensive dominance has been the Broncos’ calling card so far this season. Boise State tops the Mountain West and 16th in the nation on defense, keeping opponents at an average of 60.6 points per game. The Broncos are also among the top players nationwide for field goal defense (No. 25, 39.289%), 3-point defense (No. 27, 29.4%), and rebound margin (No. 37, plus 5).

But in the Broncos’ two losses before their current winning streak, Boise State gave up 10 3-pointers apiece in setbacks against Santa Clara and Nevada. Coach Leon Rice asked his team to get better.

“We’ve had back-to-back games of teams doing 10 3s… and a lot of them were undisputed,” Rice said. “It’s a key cornerstone of our defense. I think we’ve gotten better on our defensive fundamentals.”

Since those losses, the Broncos have not given up more than seven 3-pointers to an opposing team. They held San Jose State to just four triples and then played the lockdown defense against Utah State guard Steven Ashworth, who at the time was leading the nation in 3-point field goal percentage. He finished with just four points against the Broncos.

Against UNLV, Wyoming and a rematch with Nevada, Boise State held each team’s top guard to just 12 points, below the season averages of UNLV’s Elijah Harkless (16.4 ppg), Wyoming’s Hunter Maldonado (13.4 ppg) and Kenan Blackshear of Nevada (14.6 ppg). .

“After the Nevada[loss]I really challenged them on some things,” Rice said. “Either we get better at it or we don’t stand a chance in this league. And they got better at a lot of those things. That is a very, very big indicator of a good team.”

Friday’s game is currently a quad-1 opportunity for the Broncos, who are ranked 19th on the NET (NCAA Evaluation Tool) rankings. New Mexico checks in at No. 31 after starting the season with 14 straight wins.

“House might be one of the fastest guards in the country. He can get from one end of the floor to the other faster than anyone else,” Rice said. “He makes ’em run, he makes ’em run.

“Mashburn has a number of opportunities to score. Its middle class is as good as any in the country. Both can reach you from all three planes and both can put so much evil pressure on you. They’re slippery and creative and just great basketball protectors. They’re just ballers.”

BOISE STATE, NEW MEXICO

When: 9 p.m. mountain time Friday

Where from: The Pit, Albuquerque, New Mexico

TV: Fox sport 1

Radio: KBOI 670 AM (Bob Behler, Abe Jackson)

Records: Boise State 15-4, 5-1 MW; New Mexico 17-2, 4-2

Series: New Mexico leads the all-time streak 12-8

KenPom rating: State of Boise 23, New Mexico 49

KenPom and ESPN Predictions

Ken Pomeroy, who created the popular college basketball statistics website KenPom.com, ranks each Division I team using an adjusted efficiency margin, which Pomeroy defines as the difference between a team’s offensive and defensive efficiency.

According to Pomeroy’s detailed statistical analysis, Boise State has a 47% chance of beating New Mexico. His score prediction is a 72-71 win for New Mexico.

ESPN’s College Basketball Power Index: New Mexico has a 52.1% chance of winning with a predicted point difference of 0.6.

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