Ryan Watkins night did not start of well. His first shot was blocked. His second was an awkward miss in the lane.
But things definitely got better for Watkins, Boise States starting center. The junior made his final seven field goal attempts and finished with a season-high 17 points and seven rebounds in the Broncos 78-68 victory at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.
I was a little jittery in the beginning, said the 6-foot-9 Watkins, who was two points shy of his career high. Ive got to try to step up every night because Im going to be undersized and overmatched.
Watkins is averaging 8.9 points and 6.1 rebounds for the Broncos (8-2), up from last years 6.8 and 4.0, respectively. He had 12 points and 17 rebounds in the Broncos victory against LSU on Dec. 14.
I have a lot of praise for Ryan Watkins. Hes tough in there. Hes a good rebounder. Hes physical down low, Idaho coach Don Verlin said.
With second-leading scorer Anthony Drmic limited with illness, the Broncos needed more offense from Watkins. He finished 7-of-9 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line. It was the fourth double-digit scoring game of the season and the 19th of his career.
He got a lot better this season, Boise State guard Derrick Marks said. Hes been more of a complete player.
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