BOISE, Idaho - Once again Boise State rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat an opponent, this time it was Nevada as the Broncos came back from five points down for a 77-74 victory Wednesday night in Taco Bell Arena to extend their win streak to four.
When asked about a close game going their way coach Gordy Presnell said, "We're just excited to win four in a row, and we'll see what happens. Twenty wins is the mark of a good season in college basketball. Hopefully we can win that number 20 the next time out at San Jose State. We're hoping to keep building on this. We always end up playing to the level of our opponents. We need to play better."
The win is the fourth straight for the Broncos and avenges an earlier loss in Reno to the Wolf Pack. Boise State is now 19-7 overall and 9-6 in Mountain West play, while Nevada moved to 10-16 on the year and 4-11 in league. Next up for the Broncos is a road trip to play at San Jose State (10-17, 7-8 MW) on Saturday.
After trailing by four to end the first quarter, Boise State shot 55 percent (11-20) from the floor in the second period and used a 12-0 run to eventually take a seven-point 39-32 lead into halftime.
Boise State struggled getting its shots to fall in the third period as Nevada rallied to take a 60-57 lead heading into the fourth.
Trailing 66-61 with 7:01 remaining, Boise State rolled off a 7-0 run to take a 68-66 lead on Yaiza Rodriguez's third and final 3-pointer of the night with 5:29 to play.
Rodriguez led Boise State with a team-high 15 points powered by 3-of-3 shooting from beyond the arc. The senior added one rebound, a team-high five assists and one steal in the win playing 33 minutes.
With the blue and orange up 68-66, the teams traded five leads over the next two and half minutes before Boise State's Marijke Vanderschaaf hit a short jumper to put the Broncos up for good at 73-72 with 2:57 remaining.
Boise State then put the game away hitting 4-of-6 free throws down the stretch including two by Rodriguez with four seconds left to put the Broncos up by the winning three-point margin at 77-74.
In addition to Rodriguez, three other Broncos also reach double-digit points as both Vanderschaaf and Brooke Pahukoa added 14 each. Vanderschaaf tallied a team-high seven rebounds and three steals (tied for the high), and added a career-high five blocks. Pahukoa went 6-of-6 from the free-throw line in recording her points, she also had four rebounds and one block. It was the 14th time this season for both Vanderschaaf and Pahukoa to reach double-figure points.
"This is way better than when it doesn't go our way - those aren't too fun," said Pahukoa. "I think that our team was super into it at the very beginning. It's always hard when you start slow and just get energy at the end. I thought we started on the right foot at the very beginning of this game, so we had that energy at the end to finish. Every single athlete wants to be a part of a close match. It's not fun when we blow teams out."
Freshman Riley Lupfer chipped in with 10 points. Meanwhile, Joyce Harrell contributed seven points, six rebounds, two blocks and two steals. While battling foul trouble Shalen Shaw matched Harrell's points and added one board, two assists and team-high (tied) three steals.
Boise State finished the game shooting 43.3 percent (29-67) from the floor, 29.4 percent (5-17) from 3-point range and 77.8 percent (14-18) from the free-throw line.
The Wolf Pack shot 38.5 percent (25-65) from the floor, 35.7 percent (5-14) from the arc and 82.6 percent (19-23) from the free-throw line.
Stephanie Schmid led Nevada with 19 points, five rebounds and three assists, while Desirae Gonzalez added 12 points and four rebounds.