Boise State men's basketball routs NAIA squad

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comNovember 16, 2013 

— Boise State welcomed Jeff Elorriaga back with open arms.

The Simpson Red Hawks’ defense was equally welcoming.

Elorriaga, the Broncos’ sharp-shooting senior guard, had 26 points in just 12 minutes Friday in a 110-53 blowout against the NAIA foe. It was Elorriaga’s first game of the season after he missed the previous Friday’s season opener.

“I’ll be honest, as soon as I got past half court, I was screaming for the ball,” Elorriaga said. “… I told myself this year I didn’t want to miss a game, and I broke it in the first game. I’m excited to be back.”

After missing his first attempt of the game, Elorriaga hit his last nine field goals, mixing in a successful free throw in his only try of the game at the line. He finished 9-of-10 from the field, including 7-of-8 3-pointers. His two 2-point field goals matched the most he made in any game last season.

“When he missed his first, I was like ‘ah, he’s a little rusty,’ then he makes nine straight,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. “It’s just great to have him back … it’s about as efficient as I’ve ever seen.”

Elorriaga even joked after the game his first shot “might have been the most open one.”

In the 12 minutes Elorriaga played, the Broncos were plus-30 in point differential. The Portland native added three rebounds and two steals.

“When he gets out there, you see what a value he is and how much better he makes us,” Rice said.

The excitement of being back on the floor, on fire offensively and part of another high-scoring team effort, Elorriaga appeared he was well on his way to breaking his own single-game school record of 10 3-pointers that he set last season. Rice and the team erred on the side of caution after Elorriaga, who had a concussion last season that kept him out for three games, was held out last week following a blow to the head.

“I was teasing coach Rice, trying to trick him to put me back in,” Elorriaga said.

The game against an NAIA squad allowed Elorriaga to get some open looks, along with just about everyone else on the Broncos. Boise State’s 110 points were fifth-most in school history, following 116 in the season opener, which were second-most.

Eleven of the 13 Broncos who played scored, with junior Anthony Drmic (16) and freshman Nick Duncan (14) joining Elorriaga in double digits. Boise State’s 15 3-pointers were one shy of tying the school mark. The Broncos made 36-of-64 attempts from the field, including 15-of-25 3-pointers.

“Jeff’s a really good mentor for me … he says ‘just shoot it,’” said Duncan, who hit 4-of-5 3-pointers.

Dave Southorn: 377-6420; Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

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