Miquelle Askew scored 13 of her game-high 15 points in second half.
Feb. 3, 2016
Game Box (pdf)
LOGAN, Utah (Feb. 3, 2016) - Miquelle Askew and Brooke Pahukoa combined for 23 second half points to lead Boise State to a hard fought 63-58 road win over Utah State in Mountain West Conference play. The game was close throughout with Boise State's nine-point 39-30 lead in the third quarter being the largest on the game.
Down 54-53 with 3:25 to play, Boise State came back outscoring the Aggies 10-4 down the stretch to collect the Broncos' seventh-consecutive victory as they improved to 15-6 overall and 8-2 in league to remain in third place.
"It was good for us to not shoot as well as we have in the past and still be able to execute down the stretch in a close game," head coach Gordy Presnell said. "I thought that Brooke (Pahukoa) and Miquelle (Askew) both hit some big shots at the end which really helped us. We also got a big boost with Lexie coming back tonight, she had some big plays for us."
Hampered with foul trouble Askew was held to two points in the first half before coming back in the second to score a team-high 15 points. Brooke Pahukoa scored three points in the first half but finished with 13 in the game. Shalen Shaw added eight points with a team-high 11 rebounds.
Boise State's bench was huge in the first half of the game as foul trouble struck Askew and Shaw early. The bench combined for 18 first half points with 16 coming in the second quarter with the two starters sitting out. Jordan Tully had a team-high seven points in the first 20 minutes followed by Der with six, Ella Fotu three and Marijke Vanderschaaf two as the Broncos took a 26-23 lead into halftime.
"The bench did a really nice job tonight, we complemented them on their play after the game tonight," Presnell commented. "They had been averaging five or six points a game, then all of a sudden they scored 20 points tonight. They were really big for us in the first half when we got into foul trouble and actually got us the lead at halftime."
Boise State started the game cold shooting just 17.8 percent (3-19) from the floor in the first 10 minutes and finished at 29 percent (9-31) in the opening half. Fortunately, Utah State struggled as well hitting 25.7 percent (9-35) in the half. As a result the two teams combined for 52 rebounds in the half, 26 for each.
Redshirt-senior Lexie Der played for the first time in 707 days scoring 45 seconds after entering the game with 2:01 left in the first period. With foul trouble hitting key starters what was planned to be a few minutes here or there turned into 17 on the night as Der finished with six points, five rebounds, one assist and one steal in her return.
"It was breath taking being out there tonight and it finally gave me something concrete, a finish line that I made it and that everything was worth it," said Lexie Der. "The first time I went in tonight it was rough with first time jitters and nerves, so I did not stay in long. The second time was better and it was like I was just playing again, everything went right and it wasn't a big deal anymore. It is great to be back."
The third quarter saw the Broncos pull out to a game-high nine-point lead at 39-30 with 4:29 to go in the period. The Aggies then rallied with a 10-1 run to tie the score at 40 with 38 seconds to go in quarter. Brooke Pahukoa gave the Broncos a 42-40 lead after three periods on a pair of free throws with five seconds to go.
The fourth quarter remained tight as Boise State held onto its advantage until the 4:04 mark when Katie Toole hit a jumper to put the Aggies up 52-51. Askew regained the lead for the Broncos on a layup 15 seconds later.
With 3:49 on the clock USU's Funda Nakkasoglu hit a short jumper to hand the Aggies their final lead at 54-53. Boise State responded on a pair of Shaw free throws to put the Broncos up for good at 55-54 with 2:57 to go to spark a 10-4 run down the stretch to closeout the game.
Boise State finished the contest shooting 33.3 percent (22-66) from the floor, 15.8 percent (3-19) from the arc and 64 percent (16-25) from the free-throw line. The Broncos dominated the paint outscoring the Aggies 34-to-22, they held a 16-to-6 advantage in points off turnovers and the bench ended the night outscoring Utah State's 20-to-5.
Utah State shot 35.9 percent (23-64) from the floor, 11.1 percent (2-18) from the 3-point arc and 76.9 percent (10-13) from the free-throw line. Nakkasoglu led USU with 19 points followed by Katie Toole with 14 going a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor, and Rachel Brewster with 12 points.
Next up for Boise State is a pair of home games against Air Force this Saturday at 2 p.m., followed by a huge game at Taco Bell Arena against league leading Colorado State next Wednesday.
OTHER GAME NOTES
- Miquelle Askew’s 15 points moves her into ninth-place on the Boise State career scoring list with 1,184 and her four rebounds moved her into a tie for 16th in career rebounds with Kinzi Poteet at 548.
- Shalen Shaw’s 11 rebounds is her ninth in game in the last 11 with double-figure rebounds.
- The seven-game win streak in MW games is the longest since the Broncos joined the Mountain West Conference for the 2011-12 season.