BOISE, Idaho - Brooke Pahukoa scored 20 points to lead Boise State to a 75-56 victory over UNLV in a Mountain West women's basketball game Wednesday night at Taco Bell Arena. Pahukoa was one of four Broncos in double-digit points as Boise State pulled away in the second half to win convincingly. It is the fifth-straight victory for the Broncos who are now 13-6 overall and 6-2 in MW play, good for third place.
Boise State never trailed in the game, won all four quarters and took a five-point 35-30 lead into halftime. The Broncos outscored the Lady Rebels 25-15 in the third period and took a commanding 15-point 60-45 advantage into the fourth, eventually winning it by 19 points.
"I was very excited for our team and I thought our play was very unselfish as we had several kids hit some big shots tonight," said head coach Gordy Presnell. "When you have unselfish play it allows you to make little runs, which we did in the second half. Another thing that I am proud of is that they (UNLV) are a fantastic rebounding team and we competed with them on the boards. We thought entering the game that if we could compete on the boards we would have a shot at beating them."
Brooke Pahukoa was on fire in the first quarter and was perfect in the period going 3-of-3 from the floor, 1-of-1 from the arc and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. She scored 14 of her team-high 20 points in the first quarter and 18 by halftime. The Lady Rebels focused on her during the final 20 minutes as she finished with 20 points, her seventh game with 20-plus, four rebounds, one block and one steal in 34 minutes.
"It was a fun game to be a part of and hopefully a fun game to watch for our fans," Brooke Pahukoa said. "When everyone is hitting and we are sharing the ball like we were, Yaiza (Rodriguez Ortego) had 11 assists and I'm sure we all had some tonight passing the ball like we did. It was a fun game to be apart of, you want to be in there and you crave that kind of basketball."
Yaiza Rodriguez Ortego dished out 11 assists on the night to go with six points, one rebound and one steal in 32 minutes. It is her second 10-plus assist contest in four games. The 11 assists ties for third most all-time, it also gives her three 10-plus assists games in her career tying Elaine Elliott (1973-77)for the most in program history.
Shalen Shaw saw her streak of four-consecutive games with double-doubles come to an end tonight finishing with 16 points and a team-high (tied) seven rebounds. She now has seven double-doubles in the last nine games. She added three assists and five steals to her effort against the Lady Rebels.
Miquelle Askew shot 70 percent (7-of-10) on the night to finished with 14 points, two rebounds, one assist and one block.
Freshman Marta Hermida came alive in the second half going 5-of-9 from the floor and 4-of-6 from the arc to score all 14 of her points in the final 20 minutes. Hermida also tallied seven rebounds, two assists and one steal in 31 minutes.
After UNLV opened the game with the first basket, Boise State responded with a 15-1 run to go up 15-3 with 4:34 to go in first period.
UNLV rallied capitalizing on six Boise State turnovers converting them into 10 points to pull to within 19-15 at the end of the quarter.
Foul trouble struck the Broncos quickly with Rodriguez Ortego picking up her second foul with 3:45 left in the first period. Not long into the second quarter Shaw joined Rodriguez Ortego with two fouls with 8:26 left until the half.
UNLV came back to tie it on four occasions in the second period but never managed to take the lead. Tied at 30 with 2:55 to go in the half, Boise State rolled off a 5-0 run to take a five-point 35-30 lead into halftime.
The first half was sloppy as the two teams combined for 25 turnovers, 13 by the Broncos. The Lady Rebels had a 15-to-7 advantage in points off turnovers at the end of the first 20 minutes. They finished with 44 combined turnovers in the game with the Lady Rebels making 24, but they still managed a 26-to-18 advantage in points off turnovers.
UNLV scored the opening basket of the third quarter only to see the Broncos counter with a 7-0 run, five by Hermida, to go up 42-32 with 7:46 to play in period. The closest the Lady Rebels got after that was eight points as Boise State pulled away.
Shaw scored 11 points in the third period as the Broncos took a 15-point 60-45 lead into the fourth quarter.
Boise State led by 14 or more throughout the final quarter and was led by Hermida who hit two 3-pointers during the period.
The Broncos shot 48.3 percent (28-58) from the floor on the night, 45.5 percent (10-22) from beyond the arc and 81.8 percent (9-11) from the free-throw line.
Boise State did a good job on the glass going toe-to-toe with the top rebounding team in the Mountain West. The Lady Rebels won the battle, but it was close as they out rebounded the Broncos by one 33-to-32 and 11-to-10 in offensive boards. However, the Broncos held a 10-to-7 advantage in second chance points.
UNLV finished the night shooting 35.7 percent (20-56) from the floor, 25 percent (5-20) from the arc and 91.7 percent (11-12) from the free-throw line. Dakota Gonzalez led two Lady Rebels in double-figure scoring with 23 points and six rebounds, followed by Brooke Johnson with 13 points and seven boards.
Next up, Boise State travels to Albuquerque, N.M., for a 2 p.m. tip against the New Mexico Lobos (11-7, 4-3 MW).