ASAFA, Colo. - Freshman Joe Hanstad scored a career-high 19 points in the first start of his Bronco career, freshman Anthony Drmic recorded his first-career double-double and the Boise State men's basketball team earned its first conference victory as a member of the Mountain West with a 72-61 victory over Air Force at Clune Arena, Saturday.
The win also marked the Broncos' first road victory of 2011-12, ending a nine-game losing streak dating back to last season.
Boise State improves to 11-12 on the season and 1-7 in the Mountain West, while Air Force dropped to 11-11 overall and 1-7 in league play.
Hanstad led a contingent of Broncos in double figures, including Drmic who had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Redshirt juniors Drew Wiley (11) and Kenny Buckner (10) and freshman Derrick Marks (11) also chipped in 10-plus, giving Boise State five players in double figures for the fourth time this season, and the first since the Broncos' 79-55 victory over Idaho State, Dec. 5.
Sophomore Jeff Elorriaga, playing his first game since suffering a fractured thumb against TCU (Jan. 21), added a team-high five assists and six rebounds.
The Broncos built as much as a 20-point second-half lead, the team's third double-digit second-half lead during MW play, and the largest lead during a conference game this season.
Although the Falcons were able to cut their deficit to 11, this time the Broncos held on.
The Broncos and Falcons each went 9-of-25 (.360) from the floor in the opening half, and each team knocked down four first-half 3-pointers. Boise State entered the second half with a 27-24 advantage thanks to its efforts at the free throw line - the Broncos went a perfect 5-for-5, while Air Force knocked down just 2-of-7 (.286).
There were five lead changes in the opening half, but an 11-0 run by Boise State to start the second assured there would be no more.
The Broncos knocked down a season-best 21-of-25 free throw attempts (.840).
Boise State continues its second run through the Mountain West Wednesday, playing host to Colorado State. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Taco Bell Arena.
…Drmic set Boise State's all-time single-season freshman record for 3-pointers (51), passing Coby Karl (49; 2003-04).
…The Broncos used their 12th starting line-up of the 2011-12 season…senior guard Tre' Nichols and freshman guard Joe Hanstad each received the first starts of their Bronco careers.
…Elorriaga and Igor Hadziomerovic each suited up against the Falcons…Elorriaga hadn't played since TCU (Jan. 21), and Hadziomerovic hadn't suited up since Dec. 19 against Fresno State.