Champs! Broncos Stun Wyoming
March 2, 2018

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LARAMIE, Wyo. - Braydey Hodgins just wouldn't let the Broncos lose Friday night in Laramie. With the Mountain West regular season title and the No. 1 seed at next week's conference tournament on the line to the winner of the matchup against Wyoming, and the Broncos trailing, 58-50, with 6:49 to play, Hodgins scored nine points on three 3-pointers to fuel the 67-63 comeback win.

It is Boise State's first Mountain West regular-season title since joining the conference in 2011-12, and the first such conference title since winning consecutive WAC titles from 2007-08. The Broncos also clinched the top seed at next week's Mountain West Tournament, and will begin action in Las Vegas Tuesday (March 6) at 1 p.m. MT (Noon PT). The Broncos opponent, the winner of the No. 8 vs. No. 9 game, is still to be determined.

The Broncos (20-9, 14-4 MW), behind Hodgins late run and career-high 24 points on the night, also got four points over the final 5:03 from freshman Tess Amundsen and closed the game on a 17-5 run, capped by Marta Hermida's free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of our players. This whole conference season, they have worked as hard as they can, and overcome a lot of insecurity before closing down the stretch of games," said Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell. "They performed at a really, really high level in the fourth quarter of our conference season.

"Braydey just rose up and played aggressive ball. She played with a lot of confidence, she hit critical shots, and she was ready to go from the very beginning," Presnell added.

Boise State relied on the fourth-quarter defense that has carried it to a seven-game winning streak, holding Wyoming (20-9, 13-5 MW) to just 31.3 percent (5-for-16) from the field and 0-for-3 from 3-points range over the final 10 minutes. After Wyoming's Marta Gomez, who finished the night with 19 points off the bench, hit four treys in the third quarter to fuel a 22-13 Cowgirl quarter, the Broncos locked down and held the Spaniard to just 1-for-4 from the field an 0-for-2 from distance in the final frame.

Gomez' performance in the third helped the Cowgirls turn a 33-30 Bronco halftime lead into a 52-46 score entering the fourth. The Cowgirl lead got to eight at 58-50 with 6:49 to go on Gomez' layup, but that was when Hodgins heated up. The sophomore guard hit three treys around an Amundsen bucket in a span of 2:29, her last bringing the Broncos even at 61-61. Following two more stops on the defensive end, Hodgins grabbed a defensive board, pushed the pace, and found Marta Hermida for the go-ahead layup with 3:10 to play.

The Broncos upped their lead to four at 65-61 with 2:01 to go after Amundsen was fouled on a 3-point attempt and hit two of the three free throws. The Bronco defense continued its lockdown play, as Taylor Rusk's basket with 50 seconds to go was the only one for the Cowgirls over the final five minutes. Overall, the Broncos held the Cowgirls to 2-for-11 over the game's final 6:49.

In addition to her career-high 24 points, Hodgins matched her career best with seven rebounds. Amundsen finished the game with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting, including 2-for-3 from deep, while Shalen Shaw fought her way to 11 points and nine rebounds inside.

"The win stemmed from the will to win and toughness. Coach preached it before the game and i think we were all in," said Hodgins. "It says a lot about our team because we had a chance to be first [at UNLV on Feb. 3], but I don't know if we necessarily wanted it then as bad as we did tonight. There's no better feeling than playing a championship game."


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