Boise State basketball coach Leon Rice and his players knew enough to get out of Derrick Marks way. The sophomore guard did the rest in the second half as the Broncos knocked off No. 11 Creighton 83-70 on Wednesday night in Omaha, Neb.
Marks scored a career-high 35 points, including 28 in the second half and 18 in a row at one point.
The Bluejays are the highest-ranked team Boise State has beaten, surpassing a 1998 win against No. 15 Washington.
The players and coaches did a great job of figuring out that Derrick was the hot hand. We kept running different plays for him to get the ball in his wheelhouse, Rice said. And credit Derrick, he made some tough shots.
Marks made 13-of-19 field goal attempts, many drives to the basket and short pull-up jumpers in the lane. He was 8-of-10 from the free throw line and contributed four rebounds, four steals and two assists.
I was just in the zone, Marks said. I just felt like I had to do that so we could win the game.
Boise State (5-1) was 1-18 against ranked teams on the road entering the game. The Broncos were 5-34 all-time against ranked teams, including a four-point loss at then-No. 15 Michigan State last week. Rice showed his team the film from the end of that game before the Creighton game.
We reviewed the mistakes we made. I knew wed have to deal with that again, he said.
Boise State, which did not trail outside of the first minute, extended its edge to 75-62 late in the second half. Creighton scored the next eight points to cut the lead to 75-70. But the Broncos ended the rally and the game by scoring the final eight points.
We came apart and they answered a little bit. But we put ourselves back together. Its something we didnt do against Michigan State, Rice said. Im proud of how they finished.
Anthony Drmic had 17 points, including a key basket late to stop the Bluejays run. Jeff Elorriaga scored 12 points on four first-half 3-pointers.
The Broncos made 9-of-13 attempts from 3-point range in the first half.
We have a saying: We love the rim. We like the 3. We were backwards on that in the first half, including myself. I was loving the 3 in the first half as well, Rice said.
Marks and the Broncos adjusted in the second half, driving at will against Creighton (6-1). The Broncos made just one 3 after halftime and shot 60.4 percent from the floor in the game.
We just had no answer for them on the defensive end of the floor. I thought they outhustled us, I thought they communicated better than we did, Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. If youre watching that game tonight, it was obvious who the better team was tonight, and it wasnt us.
The Broncos also made life difficult for Creighton star forward Doug McDermott. The All-American from last season had 21 points but just four rebounds and five turnovers in 36 minutes.
Boise State outrebounded Creighton 31-19.
Its a great win for our program, Rice said. But we dont want to be defined by one win in November.