In last years loss at LSU, Boise States Anthony Drmic went scoreless in 28 minutes, missing all nine of his shots seven from the floor and two from the free throw line.
In the days leading up to Friday nights rematch with the Tigers at Taco Bell Arena, assistant coaches made sure Drmic didnt forget his woeful effort.
We made sure it stuck with him, coach Leon Rice said with a smile. They just challenged him on the fact that we didnt remember him being at the game last year, and statwise he wasnt.
Drmics effort Friday wont soon be forgotten. He had 11,210 witnesses to his career-high 34 points in the Broncos 89-70 victory against previously undefeated LSU.
I definitely came out here with a chip on my shoulder to prove something, said Drmic, a 6-foot-6 sophomore from Australia whose previous career high was 26 points.
Drmic made 12-of-18 field goal attempts, including six 3-pointers. He made his first two shots, both 3s.
But his biggest shot of the game came a few minutes later. With LSU leading 19-11 and the Broncos struggling to score Drmic made another 3-pointer out of a Boise State timeout. The basket seemed to steady the Broncos, who outscored LSU 32-11 the rest of the half and never looked back.
Boise State (7-2) scored 16 of the final 19 points before halftime, engaging the near-capacity crowd.
We kind of lost him in transition some. We gave him some easy looks at the beginning of the game and let his confidence get up. So he was able to knock down some open shots, LSU guard Corban Collins said.
I know he can do it any given time. That man always has a hot hand, whether its in practice, in open gym, in games. Its no different, junior center Ryan Watkins said. He has such a quick release, its hard to guard.
Watkins had his own big night, pulling down a career-high 17 rebounds (10 offensive) despite playing against bigger players. His effort keyed a huge Boise State edge on the glass 44-27.
If we dont rebound like our hairs on fire, then were a bad rebounding team. We need to compete our tails off for every board, Rice said. Ryans effort was just relentless.
Sophomore guard Derrick Marks, the teams leading scorer, had 23 points, six rebounds, six assists and four steals in 36 minutes.
LSU entered the game 6-0, but the Tigers had yet to venture out of Baton Rouge or play a team capable of challenging them like Boise State. Forward Johnny OBryant III, who entered the game with three consecutive double-doubles in points and rebounds, was hampered by foul trouble.
He picked up three offensive fouls in transition in 11 first-half minutes. The Broncos were anticipating his hard charge to the post in transition and tried to get a body in front of him. LSU coach Johnny Jones said he warned OBryant before the game that Drmic, in particular, would attempt to draw charges on him away from the ball. Drmic drew two of the fouls.
Thats a real good way to guard him if hes sitting over there by me, Jones said.
Said OBryant: It was very frustrating. I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
OBryant had 15 points and five rebounds in 22 minutes. He also turned the ball over six times as the Broncos double-teamed him nearly every time he touched the ball in the half court.
Boise State had 30 points off 20 LSU turnovers and earned its first win in four tries against SEC teams.
And it did so in front of the second-largest crowd at Taco Bell Arena since 1999. It was the 16th largest crowd in school history. Even 30 minutes before tip-off, there was a feeling of energy in the building. Boise State averaged 2,687 fans in its first four home games this year.
The crowd helped us. The energy, you just felt it, Rice said.
Said Drmic: The more the merrier. Getting the arena packed out and those fans screaming, it just gets you going. Its really good.
Boise States next game is against Idaho on Thursday. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. at CenturyLink Arena.