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Boise State pounds San Jose State to set up meeting with Wolf Pack

The Nevada Wolf Pack will meet the Boise State Broncos on Thursday night (8:30 p.m.) in the Mountain West Tournment.
The Nevada Wolf Pack will meet the Boise State Broncos on Thursday night (8:30 p.m.) in the Mountain West Tournment.Mountain West

The Boise State Broncos and Nevada Wolf Pack will meet again.

The Broncos destroyed the San Jose State Spartans Wednesday night, 83-52, in the first round of the Mountain West Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.

The Broncos, 20-12, will meet the Wolf Pack, 15-16, on Thursday night at 8:30 p.m. with a berth in the tournament semifinals on the line.

The Wolf Pack beat Boise State in double overtime, 83-81, on March 5. Boise State beat the Pack at Lawlor Events Center, 74-65, on Jan. 14.

The Broncos, which had lost three of four games heading into the tournament, started preparing for the Wolf Pack about nine minutes into their game against San Jose State. Boise erupted out of the game for a 25-0 lead with 11:17 to go in the first half.

San Jose State didn't score its first point until Chris Cunningham sank a free throw to cut the Broncos lead to 25-1 with 10:56 to go in the opening half.

Derrick Marks scored the Broncos first seven points and had nine of the first 25. Jeff Elorriaga also hit a 3-pointer for a 10-0 lead with 17:50 to go in the half. Ryan Watkins had a lay-up for a 14-0 lead and a dunk to make it 23-0. Thomas Bropleh's 3-pointer put Boise up 19-0.

Watkins had a jumper and Bropleh drilled a 3-pointer as Boise extended its lead to 36-8 with 5:11 to go in the half. Marks had a lay-up and a short jumper for a 42-14 lead.

Boise state led 46-14 at halftime and was able to rest its starters for the bulk of the second half in preparation for the Wolf Pack game on Thursday. The Broncos scored 13 of the first 17 points in the second half to take a 59-18 lead with 15 minutes to go.

No Boise state player played more than 28 minutes (Elorriaga). Marks led all scorers with 17 points, Watkins had 14 and Igor Hadziomerovic had 10.

Watkins, who made all five of his field goal attempts, also had four rebounds and four blocks.

Rashad Muhammad led San Jose State (7-24) with 13 points. Cunningham had 11 points and nine rebounds.

Boise State shot 52 per cent (29-of-56) from the floor while San Jose State shot 28 percent (17-of-60).