BOISE, Idaho - Boise State shook-off the winter chill Saturday afternoon to upset the Wyoming Cowgirls 64-54 at Taco Bell Arena. Marijke Vanderschaaf (20) and Marta Hermida (16) combined for 36 points to lead Boise State to the big victory over then-league-leading Wyoming.
The win improved Boise State to 15-5 overall and 5-4 in Mountain West play, while Wyoming fell into second place in the standings with the loss at 15-5 on the year and 7-2 in conference. Boise State will continue its crucial two-game homestand versus the top-two teams in the MW on Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they host the Colorado State Rams (16-5, 8-1 MW) who are now in sole possession of first with Wyoming’s loss.
“The really proud of the way we played today, the team came out inspired and played hard,” said head coach Gordy Presnell. “Everyone stepped up today and we got great play out of our freshmen. Jordan Woodvine, Riley Lupfer and Braydey Hodgins were all solid for us today and made major contributions to this victory. Marijke (Vanderschaaf) was really strong for us in the post and her play was key for us getting the win. I’m really proud of this team and the way they played together today.”
Vanderschaaf scored on the opening possession to lead the fired up Broncos out of the gate as Boise State never trailed in the contest. The redshirt-sophomore scored eight of her game-high 20 points during the opening 10 minutes to lead Boise State to a 14-9 lead after one period.
“The guards did a really great job passing the ball today,” said Vanderschaaf. “They (guards) were able to get the ball to me so all I had to do was finish and that’s what I did. We had a great team effort today and got the win.”
Battling foul trouble from early in the second quarter, Vanderschaaf still managed to lead the Broncos. She was nearly unstoppable down low in the post shooting 10-of-15 (.667) from the floor in the game to go with four rebounds before fouling out with 2:46 left in the contest.
The second quarter belonged to the Broncos powered by nine Hermida points who made 4-of-7 field goals with one 3-pointer. Boise State took a half-high 11-point lead on a Riley Lupfer triple with 1:23 to play and the blue and orange up 29-18, the eventual score at halftime.
Hermida was big for the Broncos during the game as the sophomore guard came up with 16 points while shooting 50 percent (5-10) from the floor with two 3-pointers, in addition to going a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Hermida added five rebounds and four assists, both were the second most on team, to go with one steal in 27 minutes of action.
Lupfer finished the game with four points and three assists in 21 minutes.
Boise State held Wyoming scoreless for the final 4:30 of the second period and held the league’s top shooting team to 24 percent from the floor in the first 20 minutes of action. By game’s end the Broncos held the Cowgirls to 35.2 percent shooting, eight percent below their season average (.437).
Boise State stretched its advantage out to 16 (42-26) midway through the third quarter on a Hermida 3-pointer with 4:25 remaining.
Wyoming regrouped late in the third as Boise State went cold in the final four minutes of the period. The Cowgirls rallied with a 9-0 run to close within six (44-38) after three quarters.
The Broncos opened the fourth on an 8-2 run to go back up by 12 (52-40) on a Vanderschaaf layin with 6:56 remaining.
The Cowgirls battled back to within six points twice in the fourth quarter the last came with 45 seconds left on the clock and Boise State up 60-54.
Boise State held off Wyoming in the final 45 seconds at the free-throw line. Hermida showed her poise scoring all four of her fourth period points at the line going a perfect 4-of-4 to ice the game.
Hermida (4), Vanderschaaf (8) and Jordan Woodvine (5) combined for 17 of the Broncos’ 20 fourth quarter points as Boise State knocked off the Wyoming Cowgirls by 10.
Woodvine turned in another solid performance as the freshman played a career-high 24 minutes tallying seven points, three rebounds, two assists, one block and two steals in the victory.
Brooke Pahukoa recorded her 11th double figure scoring game of the season finishing with 10 on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor with two free throws. The senior also had four rebounds, three assists and one steal. Her 10 points propelled her into 10th place on the Boise State career scoring list with 1,180, passing up Tricia (Bader) Binford (1991-96) who had 1,171.
Joyce Harrell in her first career start for the blue and orange tallied four points, team-high seven rebounds and a team and career-high four blocks in 27 minutes of action.
Boise State committed only nine turnovers in the contest while forcing Wyoming into 15 resulting in a small edge in points off turnovers 15-to-11 for the Broncos.
With the exception of the San Jose State game last Saturday, the Broncos have struggled shooting the three-ball lately. Today they made a conscious effort at forcing the ball inside where they outscored the Cowgirls 40-to-22 in the paint.
The Broncos finished the day shooting 44.8 percent from the floor, a decent 33.3 percent (4-12) from beyond the arc and 61.5 percent (8-13) from the free-throw line.
Wyoming was led in the game by Liv Roberts who had 13 points, six rebounds and three assists. She was followed by Marta Gomez with 10 points.