This Day In Sports: What a wild way to get to 20

February 6, 2018, five years ago today: Boise State clinches its sixth straight 20-win season in dramatic fashion, scoring eight points in the final 53 seconds to beat New Mexico 73-71. The Broncos had trailed by 11 points at halftime and by 13 with eight minutes left. But senior star Chandler Hutchison made two steals and converted them into a dunk and a lay-in during the frantic final minute. Christian Sengfelder, a German graduate transfer, started the rally with a three-pointer and led Boise State with 24 points. Sengfelder also had seven rebounds, an amazing seven of them on the offensive end.

The exit wasn’t pretty. When the Broncos’ Marcus Dickinson grabbed the final rebound, he was shoved to the floor by the Lobos’ Joe Furstinger, and it took a little while to restore order to the court. No handshake line in this one. The following day, the Mountain West suspended Furstinger for one game. Boise State’s Justinian Jessup, who pushed Furstinger away from Dickinson, was issued a public reprimand from the conference. The Mountain West commended Broncos coach Leon Rice and New Mexico coach Paul Weir for diffusing the situation on the court and expressed appreciation to Weir for apologizing for the incident after the game.

That season marked the first time Boise State had earnestly gone after graduate transfers. Sengfelder came from Fordham and averaged 11.7 points and 6.4 rebounds in his one season with the Broncos, second on the team to Hutchison on both counts. Lexus Williams was a grad transfer from Valparaiso and posted 9.7 points per game. His 42.5 percent marksmanship from three-point range was second on the squad to Jessup. Williams hit a half-court buzzer-beater to beat Oregon in Eugene early that season.

The win over the Lobos gave Rice his seventh 20-win campaign in eight seasons with Boise State. He’s had two more since. The Broncos had notched only seven 20-win campaigns combined in 40 Division I seasons before Rice arrived. Boise State, currently 18-6 with Saturday’s home game against Wyoming next on the docket, needs just two more victories to hit 20 this season. Rice, the winningest coach in school history, is now 262-151 in his 13th season at the helm. The Broncos have already clinched another winning season, their 11th under Rice.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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