BOISE, Idaho - Shalen Shaw hit one-of-two free throws with three seconds left in the game to give Boise State a 67-66 victory over Fresno State Saturday afternoon in Taco Bell Arena. In front of a season-high 1,417 fans the Broncos defeated the Bulldogs by one point to get back on track snapping a two-game slide to improve to 13-3 overall ─ 9-1 at home ─ and 3-2 in Mountain West play, Fresno State moved to 10-7 on the year and 3-3 in league.
“We’re excited that we won the game,” head coach Gordy Presnell said. “They’re a good team, they were 10-6 entering the game and we knew it was going to be a tough game, so we’re excited about this. We’ve tried to step up and raise the level of anxiety a little bit in practice this week. We felt like we played pretty good defense. We kind of traded buckets a bit in the fourth quarter, but I was pleased we got the big stop we needed. I thought Marijke Vanderschaaf stepped up big and I thought it was a good win for us.”
Shaw battled foul trouble most of the game but finished with a big 13 points, 10 in the first half, to go with four rebounds, two assists, one block and two steals in 28 minutes. The junior from Reno, Nev., went 6-of-10 from the floor to lead the Broncos with her 12th game in double-figure points.
Shaw was on the bench most of the second half with foul trouble and scored only three points in the last 20 minutes. But they were a big three points as they were the final ones scored by Boise State in the victory.
Marta Hermida led all scorers in the game with 14 points for her ninth game in double-digit scoring this season. The sophomore scored nine of her points in the second half, a team high, as she shot 4-of-8 in the third and fourth quarters combined. She also tallied five rebounds, three assists and one steal in 32 minutes of action.
Fresno State opened the game on a 6-2 run to take the early momentum with 6:30 to go in the first quarter.
The Broncos bounced back big rolling off a 13-0 run to go up 15-6, a game-high nine point lead, with 2:42 to go in the period. They took their first lead at 8-6 when Marijke Vanderschaaf hit a layup with 4:02 to play in the opening stanza.
Boise State never trailed again and led by as many as nine points twice, but the Broncos were unable to put the game away as Fresno State kept it close throughout and managed to tie it up four times in the second half.
Vanderschaaf finished the win with eight points and team-high eight rebounds to go with two assists, three blocks ─ tying her career high ─ and one steal in 33 minutes.
Braydey Hodgins nearly tied her career-high for points in the first quarter with eight as she was on fire going 2-of-2 from the floor with one triple, in addition to going 3-of-3 from the charity stripe. The freshman from Pasco, Wash., did finished the contest with a career-high 11 points.
“We’ve had a rough couple games, couple losses,” said Hodgins. “This week at practice was pretty hard, and we ramped up the intensity. I think it showed in the game and allowed us to get the win. I think everyone stepped up. We had different people do what they normally don’t do, and it created a spark for us.”
Up 22-13 entering the second quarter Boise State held off the Bulldogs as they attempted to rally pulling to within four on three occasions, the last coming on a layup by Kristina Cavey with 2:29 remaining in the quarter and the Broncos up 30-26.
Fresno State won the second quarter 14-11, but Boise State led the entire way and took a six-point 33-27 advantage into halftime.
The Bulldogs opened the third quarter hot rolling off a 8-2 run which included back-to-back 3-pointers to tie the score for the first time since the first quarter at 35 all with 7:42 left in the period.
Boise State regrouped and took a four-point lead, 39-35, on baskets by Hermida and Joyce Harrell with 6:22 to play in the third.
Fresno State tied it up once more at 39 all with 4:42 to play in the third period, but Boise State answered with a 10-1 run to tie its game-high advantage of nine points with 2:31 to go in the quarter at 49-40.
The blue and orange led by seven, 53-46, heading into the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs would win the fourth period out scoring the Broncos 20-14 and came back to tie the score twice. The first was on a Cavey trey with 4:57 left which tied the game at 61.
The Broncos answered by rolling off a 5-0 run on three free throws by Jordan Woodvine (1-2) and Brooke Pahukoa (2-2) to go with a Shaw jumper as Boise State led 66-61 with 3:40 remaining.
Fresno State rallied tying the score at 66 with 2:08 to play on a Bego Faz Davalos layup.
That set up Shaw’s game winning free throw with three seconds remaining. The Bulldogs’ Candice White attempted a 3-pointer at the buzzer but it fell well short as the Broncos held on for the win.
Boise State finished the day shooting 39.7 percent (27-68) from the floor as a team, 23.1 percent (3-13) from beyond the arc and 83.3 percent (10-12) from the free-throw line.
Fresno State held a 34-33 edge in rebounding and converted 10 offensive boards into a 8-0 advantage in second chance points. However, the Broncos forced 21 Bulldog turnovers ─ while committing 12 ─ which they converted into a 24-to-10 advantage in points off turnovers.
Fresno State shot 49.1 percent (26-53) from the floor, 40 percent (8-20) from 3-point range and 66.7 percent (6-9) from the free-throw line.
Faz Davalos led the Bulldogs with a double-double on 10 points and 14 rebounds, the junior entered the game averaging a double-double on the year at 14.7 points and MW-leading 11.2 rebounds. Two other Fresno State players reached double-figure scoring with Candice White tallying a team-high 13 points and Emilie Volk adding 12.
Next up for Boise State is a road trip to play at the New Mexico Lobos (8-8, 4-2 MW) in Albuquerque on Wednesday night.