The first half of Thursday nights rivalry game between Boise State and Idaho belonged to the Vandals.
The second half belonged to Derrick Marks.
Marks, a Boise State sophomore guard, scored 21 of his game-high 25 points after halftime as the Broncos rallied to defeat Idaho 78-68 before a capacity crowd of 5,548 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
They went to their guy and he delivered, Idaho coach Don Verlin said. They were able to drive the ball to the basket and we would either foul him or hed make the shot.
Marks scored 10 of the Broncos first 12 points in the second half as Boise State (8-2) clawed back from a 37-29 halftime deficit. He made back-to-back 3-pointers early in the half to spark the comeback and awaken the half of the arena clad in blue and orange.
I guess those were loud baskets, Marks said.
Junior Jeff Elorriaga made two even louder ones later in the half. Elorriaga hit back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the game at 52-52 with 12 minutes, 12 seconds remaining.
Boise State took the lead for good at 62-60 on a pair of Marks free throws with 6:35 left. Marks made 13-of-14 free throws in the game. He made 7-of-8 in the final five minutes.
They started going more (isolations) for Marks out there. He was making plays for them, Idaho senior center Kyle Barone said. We couldnt get a stop there.
Idaho (4-6) allowed 49 points in the second half and lost despite shooting 51.1 percent from the floor in the game.
Barone scored a team-high 24 points, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and had three blocks, including one of Ryan Watkins on Boise States first possession. Behind Barone, the Vandals led by as many as 11 points at 35-24 late in the first half. Idaho shot 65 percent from the field in the first half.
We gave them a lot of easy buckets in the first half, Boise State coach Leon Rice said.
Those shots didnt fall in the second half, particularly from the perimeter. Idaho shot 2-of-10 from 3-point range in the game.
We had four or five wide open 3-point shots that we didnt knock down, Verlin said.
Boise State got 17 points from center Ryan Watkins and 11 from reserve guard Mikey Thompson. Boise State needed the offense with second-leading scorer Anthony Drmic limited by the flu. Drmic did not practice this week, but played through the illness and scored five second-half points. Rice called his performance courageous.
Mike McChristian had 14 points off the bench for Idaho, and Stephen Madison added 12.
The crowd, evenly split between Idaho and Boise State fans, was engaged throughout.
This game is always fun. We look forward to this game every year, Watkins said. Its always a challenge because theres so much emotion and you know both teams come out and play hard.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444