Broncos Drop Shootout In Albuquerque
Jan. 3, 2018
New Mexico 100, Boise State 83
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - A wild, back-and-forth contest between Boise State and New Mexico got away from the Broncos in the final minutes, as the Lobos used a game-ending 17-5 run to win the battle of 2-0 teams in Mountain West play, 100-83.
Despite Riley Lupfer's second-straight game of at least 20 points, as she went for 24 on 9-of-15 shooting and a 5-of-8 showing from behind the arc, the Broncos went just 2-for-5 with three turnovers after Shalen Shaw's layup brought the Broncos to within five at 83-78 with 4:10 to play. New Mexico, meanwhile, went 4-for-4 from the field and 8-of-9 from the line over the final 4:10 to pull away.
Lupfer gave the Broncos late life halfway through the fourth quarter, as with the Broncos trailing, 80-70, with 5:46 to play, she hit a 3-pointer, then after a Bronco stop, drove for a layup with contact and hit the bonus, bringing the Broncos to within four at 80-76 with 5:01 to go.
But, as with much of the quarter, New Mexico had an answer every time the Broncos got within striking distance. This time, Tesha Buck, who finished the game with 15 points, hit a trey on the ensuing Lobo possession, and, after Shaw, layup, hit another 3-pointer to get the Lobo lead to eight at 86-78 with 3:54 to go. Jaisa Nunn then took over inside, scoring seven of the next eight Lobo points to put New Mexico firmly in the lead at 94-83 with 1:27 to play, despite five points from Marta Hermida to keep the Broncos in the mix. Six more free throws brought the Lobos to the century mark by the final buzzer.
"I thought we battled, and I was really proud of the character of our kids to come back time and time again," said Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell. "I'm disappointed in the end of the game. We didn't get some stops, and didn't execute some offensive plays that we'd like to, but hopefully we can learn from it and prepare ourselves for Saturday."
Behind Lupfer's night, Boise State had one of its best offensive performances of the season, shooting 50.0 percent from the field (32-for-64) and, for the third time in four games, hitting a season-high 12 3-pointers, hitting at a 48.0-percent clip (12-for-25). Along with Lupfer's five treys, Hermida went 3-for-7 behind the arc while finishing with 19 points, Braydey Hodgins was 2-for-4 and finished with 10 points, and freshman Hailey Vice-Neat hit a trey while adding five points off the bench.
"We're just trying to get Riley as many shots as we can. She's a heckuva shooter and a heckuva competitor," Presnell said.
But New Mexico answered with just as much production, shooting 52.3 percent (34-for-65) for the game, and going 22-for-24 from the line to keep the Broncos at bay. Alex Lapeyrolerie scored 23 points with five 3-pointers to lead the Lobos, while Cherise Beynon finished with 18 points and 15 assists to go with the 15 points from Buck and 19 from Nunn, who shot 7-of-9 from the floor.
The game picked up after an uneventful first quarter in which the teams combined to shoot just 28.1 percent (9-of-32) from the field, as New Mexico held a slim 15-13 lead. The teams would go on to combine to shoot 58.8 percent over the final three quarters, including a 50.0-percent clip from behind the arc (each team going 10-for-20 over the span).
Boise State trailed by as many as nine in the second quarter before getting to within six at 44-38 at the break, and, in the third quarter, again fell behind by nine at 56-47 at the 6:11 mark before an 8-0 run over just 1:03 pulled them to within a point at 56-55. That stretch featured a five-point possession in which Shaw finished a layup in traffic, and had A'Shanti Coleman keep the possession alive after Shaw missed the bonus, leading to Hermida hitting a trey with 5:08 to go in the quarter.
But, as would be the story all night, New Mexico held off the Bronco charge, getting four-straight buckets from Antonia Anderson to get the lead back up to seven at 64-57, then withstanding five-straight points from Braydey Hodgins and getting a layup from Jasmine Smith at the third-quarter buzzer to take a 66-62 lead.
"Early on we were good, but then we started trading baskets with them, and it got away from us at the end. We've got to learn from it," Presnell said. "They're a very good team, they spread you out, they're very athletic and they have some good shooters, so it's a pretty good combination for success."
On the game
On the defensive performance over the first three quarters
On Riley Lupfer's performance
On the Broncos getting experience in a hostile environment with a large crowd
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