Anthony Marshall, Anthony Drmic

Anthony Marshall leads UNLV to a win over impressive Boise State


Yesterday, we took a look at Boise State, a team that has dealt with as many injuries and suspension as any team in the country.

When the Broncos have their entire roster available, they are, quite clearly, a dangerous team. A win at Creighton and wins over UNLV and Colorado State at home should tell you as much.

On Tuesday night, however, a full roster wasn’t enough, as the Broncos couldn’t stop Anthony Marshall down the stretch. Marshall sparked an 18-5 run after Boise State took a 56-50 lead with 4:42 left on the clock, leading the Rebels to a 68-64 win in the Thomas & Mack Center in yet another thrilling Mountain West finish.

(Before I go any further, a quick tangent: I questioned Anthony Marshall as much as anyone heading into the season. I didn’t think he was enough of a true point guard to lead this UNLV team that desperately needed a true point guard. He had 16 points, seven assists, no turnovers, shot 5-6 from the floor and 6-7 from the line last night while taking over down the stretch. On the season, he’s averaging 10.9 points. 5.9 assists, and 2.6 turnovers with shooting splits of 47.3/37.0/69/3. I’ll take my crow with salt and a little bit of sriracha, please.)

But when you look a little deeper, Boise’s performance should be as promising as the loss was disappointing.

Derrick Marks is Boise State’s leading scorer and the most dangerous player on a team that also includes Jeff Elorriaga, who hit three straight threes in the span of about a minute on Tuesday night to give Boise State that 56-50 lead. Marks averages 16.0 points and 3.9 assists, which is impressive, but not quite as impressive as the 35 points he scored in the win at Creighton or the 38 points he put on Colorado State on Saturday. Marks also had 30 in a win over Fresno State, 27 in an overtime loss at New Mexico and 24 in a four point loss at Michigan State.

Last night?

Marks was a complete non-factor.

He scored just four points in 18 minutes, finishing with more turnovers (seven) and fouls (five, although at most three of them were deserved) than points (four).

And the Broncos still managed to find themselves up six on UNLV in an arena where New Mexico, Colorado State, and San Diego State all lost in an 11 day stretch in February.

Boise State isn’t a lock for the NCAA tournament yet, but they host San Diego State on Saturday and will likely get another shot at the Aztecs in the first round of the MWC tournament. Win one of those games, and BSU can probably lace up their dancing shoes.

Don’t be surprised if they pull off an upset or two when they get there.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)