Zach Haney is starting to look awfully comfortable in those size-14 shoes.
Knowing his Boise State men’s basketball career is set to expire with the Broncos’ next loss, the redshirt senior from Houston is putting his Nikes to good use.
Haney posted his second-highest point total of the season and neutralized the nation’s leading rebounder to secure Boise State’s first win at the Mountain West Tournament since 2015.
The eighth-seeded Broncos ousted No. 9 Colorado State 66-57 in the first round Wednesday at the Thomas & Mack Center. Haney contributed 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals while holding Colorado State’s Nico Carvacho to just five rebounds, his second-lowest total of the season. Carvacho entered the matchup averaging 13.2 rebounds per game with 22 double-doubles in 31 games.
“I just know that my time here is kind of winding down, just trying to give it all I got,” Haney said. “It’s my last ride. It’s my last time in the tournament, and I just want to give everything that I’ve got left in my tank for my teammates and just win as many games as we can and win this tournament.”
[Related: Boise State women headed to NCAAs again]
The Broncos (13-19) advance to the quarterfinals, where they will face top-seeded Nevada (28-3) at 1 p.m. MT on Thursday. The game will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network and on the radio at 670 AM. Boise State has lost its past six games against the Wolf Pack.
“Our backs are kind of against the wall right now,” Haney said. “We know anything’s possible in this tournament. Like I’ve stressed over and over again, this team has a lot of fight left in us. And we’re going to give that until the clock hits zero.”
Boise State had not won a game at the Mountain West Tournament since 2015, when the Broncos advanced to the semifinals. They had lost three straight games despite being the higher seed.
But in the third meeting of the season between the Broncos and Rams, Boise State won the rubber match using a defensive-minded approach. The Broncos limited the Rams (12-20) to a season-low 57 points and held a 26-21 advantage on the boards while forcing 18 turnovers.
“It was their mindset. These guys have that mindset to come down here and guard,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. “That’s who’s going to win the tournament — the team that guards the best.”
On the heels of a career performance in the Broncos’ regular-season finale against Air Force, Haney pounced on the Rams early. He led all scorers with 10 points at the half on 4-for-6 shooting to guarantee himself a fourth straight game in double figures.
“I think the big guys did a great job of banging around in there,” Rice said. “And Zach really went to work early and kind of got us good momentum.”
Boise State shot 56 percent in the opening 20 minutes, using a 15-2 run over a 4-minute stretch to push its lead to as many as 13 points over the Rams. Colorado State’s only lead of the game came at 11-10 with 12:25 to play in the first half. Boise State held the lead for 39:13, although the Rams were able to pull within 42-40 with 12:30 left in the second half.
The Broncos dismissed the Rams’ comeback bid with a 17-5 run that resulted in their largest lead of the game, 59-45, at the 3:47 mark. The Broncos then shut the door on the Rams by making 11-of-12 free throws in the final 4:17.
Redshirt sophomore Derrick Alston was the Broncos’ leading scorer with 17 points, Alex Hobbs added 12 points, and Marcus Dickinson had 10.
“You’d be surprised how big of a difference it is when you don’t have pressure. You can just play freely, not having nothing to lose,” Dickinson said. “We’re out here just having fun and whatever happens after that happens after that. We just want to compete.”
BOISE STATE 66, COLORADO STATE 57
COLORADO STATE (12-20)
PAIGE,J.D. 9-17 3-4 25; CARVACHO,Nico 6-7 0-0 12; MARTIN,Kris 4-7 0-0 9; EDWARDS,Hyron 3-7 2-3 8; MOORE,Kendle 1-3 0-0 3; RYAN,Logan 0-0 0-0 0; THISTLEWOOD,Adam 0-8 0-0 0. Totals 23-49 5-7 57.
BOISE STATE (13-19)
ALSTON, Derrick 4-9 7-8 17; HANEY, Zach 6-9 4-6 16; HOBBS, Alex 4-8 3-4 12; DICKINSON, Marcus 2-3 4-4 10; JESSUP, Justinian 3-8 0-0 6; WILLIAMS, RJ 2-3 1-2 5; HARWELL, Malek 0-0 0-0 0; DEMBLEY, Pat 0-0 0-0 0; WACKER, David 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-41 19-24 66.
Colorado State............. 26 31 — 57
Boise State................... 33 33 — 66
3-point goals — Colorado State 6-20 (PAIGE,J.D. 4-8; MOORE,Kendle 1-3; MARTIN,Kris 1-3; THISTLEWOOD,Adam 0-5; EDWARDS,Hyron 0-1), Boise State 5-16 (DICKINSON, Marcus 2-3; ALSTON, Derrick 2-5; HOBBS, Alex 1-3; JESSUP, Justinian 0-5). Fouled out — Colorado State-MARTIN,Kris, Boise State-None. Rebounds — Colorado State 21 (CARVACHO,Nico 5), Boise State 26 (HANEY, Zach 7). Assists — Colorado State 12 (EDWARDS,Hyron 4), Boise State 12 (ALSTON, Derrick 3; JESSUP, Justinian 3). Total fouls — Colorado State 16, Boise State 12. Technical fouls — None.