The Boise State men's basketball team improved its record to 10-2 overall Monday night after dismantling the South Carolina Gamecocks 80-54 in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The game was a semifinal matchup in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, and the Broncos now advance to the championship game against No. 14 Iowa State on Christmas Day. Game time is set for 8:30 p.m. EST, and it will be televised on ESPN2.
FINAL: Boise State 80 South Carolina 54. Broncos advance to the championship game Christmas Day against No. 14/13 Iowa State.— Boise State Men's BB (@BroncoSportsMBB) December 24, 2013
The Cyclones dominated Akron 83-60 in the other semifinal earlier in the day. They improved to a perfect 10-0 on the season. However, if Boise State plays like it did against South Carolina, the undefeated Cyclones will have their hands full.
Against the Gamecocks, the Broncos took an early 3-0 lead and would never look back. By halftime, they were up 43-28.
Anthony Drmic led all scorers with 30 on the night, and it was his performance that drove this dominating win.
#BoiseState is 20-4 all-time when Anthony Drmic shoots 50.0% or better from the floor. (Tonight: 10-17 - 58.8%)— Jay Tust (@KTVBSportsGuy) December 24, 2013
Drmic with the blow by and finishes at the rim. He has 30. Just the fourth 30-point performance in @DiamondHeadClsc history.— Boise State Men's BB (@BroncoSportsMBB) December 24, 2013
Drmic also had six rebounds, but fellow Australian and junior Igor Hadziomerovic led the Broncos with eight.
Sophomore guard Mikey Thompson came off the bench for Boise State and had an impressive performance. He was second on the team in scoring with 10 points.
Boise State started this season off 8-0, before falling Dec. 10 to then No. 11 Kentucky, 70-55. The Broncos then lost at home just four days later to Saint Mary's, 82-74.
Who will win the Diamond Head Classic Championship Game?
However, after regrouping and some much needed rest, head coach Leon Rice had his team ready to go in Hawaii. The Broncos started the tournament off by defeating the home team Hawaii 62-61 in a very physical and scrappy game late Sunday night.
Ironically, South Carolina advanced to the semifinal after beating Saint Mary's, 78-71.
In 2012-13, Boise State received the school's first-ever at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Broncos are looking to prove that last season was no fluke.
With a win on Christmas Day, they could take another big step forward.
It won't be an easy task, but if they play with the same kind of energy, efficient offense and stingy defense they did against South Carolina, they have more than a decent chance.