When he heard the question Tuesday afternoon, Leon Rice reached over and knocked on wood.
Could his Boise State men’s basketball team possibly shoot worse than its 14.3-percent performance from beyond the arc last week at Nevada?
The Broncos quelled their coach’s worries, making 18 3-pointers in a 94-71 victory over San Jose State on Wednesday at Taco Bell Arena. They improved to 12-0 at home, 17-4 overall and 7-2 in the Mountain West.
The 18 treys ties for the second-most in a single game in program history as eight Broncos combined to go 18-for-38 from deep (47.4 percent).
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“What’s funny about my team is they feel like they should have made six or seven more. They had some pretty good looks there,” Rice said. “I was just pleased with the way we got those 3s. We moved the ball terrific and passed up the good shot for the great shot.”
Senior forward Chris Sengfelder dropped a career-high 31 points, going 11-for-15 from the field, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range in 31 minutes. Senior point guard Lexus Williams chipped in four 3s, 16 points, five assists and four steals, while Chandler Hutchison (19 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists) and Marcus Dickinson (9 points) each added three treys apiece.
Sengfelder’s previous career best was 27 points as a freshman when he was at Fordham.
“Thirty-one on 15 shots, that’s pretty darn efficient offense,” Rice said.
Four days after their worst performance from beyond the arc in nearly two years, the Broncos connected on nine 3-pointers in the first half against the Spartans. Sengfelder, Williams and Dickinson each made three treys before halftime, with Dickinson and Sengfelder both going a perfect 3-for-3.
“It’s a game of confidence a lot of times with shooters, and it’s tricky in that way,” Rice said. “But a game like that, that’s what we needed, and it felt good to see that ball go in for some guys.”
The Broncos outscored the Spartans 15-5 over the final four minutes of the first half for a 47-34 lead.
Sengfelder led all scorers at halftime with 17 points on 6-for-7 shooting from the floor.
“We just kept our same routine,” Williams said. “We never really talk too much about how many we make, how many we miss. ... We just keep letting the ball fly.”
Playing against last-place San Jose State (3-17, 0-9) at home, Rice took the opportunity to experiment with different lineups. For the first time in 14 games, Rice sent a different starting lineup onto the court with Alex Hobbs starting in place of Justinian Jessup.
Ten different Broncos saw playing time in the first half, including true freshman Cam Christon, who finished with three points, three rebounds and four assists in 16 minutes.
Rice was hoping to find some energy in the midst of the conference grind. Sengfelder might have provided the most, shouting a couple times after baskets and giving the crowd of 7,378 a muscle pose after the layup portion of a three-point play.
“I just let myself go and enjoy the moment,” he said. “I was trying to bring energy. That is what makes us go. ... If that helps, I’ll continue to do it.”
Boise State plays at Air Force on Saturday (8 p.m., ESPNU).
Women: BSU 112, San Jose State 80
Boise State surpassed the century mark in scoring for the first time since 1993 in a dominant victory at San Jose State.
Junior guard Marta Hermida set a school record with 14 assists, and the Broncos’ 112 points established a Mountain West record for total points against a conference opponent.
Sophomore guard Riley Lupfer added 27 points with seven of the team’s 14 3-pointers, matching her career high. The team point total was the second-highest in school history.
The Broncos (12-8, 6-3), who host Air Force at 2 p.m. Saturday at Taco Bell Arena, made 41 field goals, tying for second-most in program history.
MEN: BOISE ST. 94, SAN JOSE ST. 71
SAN JOSE ST. (3-16): Fisher 7-11 2-7 16, Welage 9-17 2-2 22, Chastain 2-4 1-2 5, James 0-1 2-2 2, Baumann 1-4 0-0 3, Barry 1-3 0-0 2, Simmons 2-2 0-0 5, Hillsman 5-7 0-0 13, Nichols 1-3 0-0 3. Totals 28-52 7-13 71.
BOISE ST. (17-4): Haney 4-5 0-0 8, Sengfelder 11-15 4-4 31, Hobbs 0-2 0-0 0, Hutchison 6-13 4-5 19, Williams 6-11 0-0 16, Wacker 0-0 0-0 0, Jorch 0-0 0-0 0, Harwell 0-1 0-0 0, Jessup 2-7 0-0 6, Christon 1-4 0-0 3, Dickinson 3-4 0-0 9, Alston 1-2 0-0 2, Jardine 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-64 8-9 94.
Halftime—Boise St. 47-34. 3-Point Goals—San Jose St. 8-14 (Hillsman 3-3, Welage 2-3, Simmons 1-1, Baumann 1-3, Nichols 1-3, James 0-1), Boise St. 18-38 (Sengfelder 5-6, Williams 4-7, Dickinson 3-4, Hutchison 3-8, Jessup 2-7, Christon 1-4, Hobbs 0-1, Alston 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—San Jose St. 23 (Welage 7), Boise St. 28 (Sengfelder 8). Assists—San Jose St. 16 (Hillsman 5), Boise St. 25 (Hutchison 6). Total Fouls—San Jose St. 13, Boise St. 14.
Nevada falls at Wyoming
Two days after making an appearance at No. 23 in The Associated Press Top 25 Poll, the Nevada men’s team suffered its first Mountain West loss of the season.
The Wolf Pack lost 104-103 in double overtime at Wyoming on Wednesday, which is good news for Boise State.
The Broncos (17-4, 7-2) lost in overtime at Wyoming earlier this season and sit in second place in the conference standings behind Nevada (19-3, 7-1).
Boise State has four home games left, including rematch opportunities against Nevada (Feb. 14) and Wyoming (March 3).