Nov. 6, 2016
BOISE, Idaho - With Boise State leading 60-59 midway through the fourth quarter freshman Riley Lupfer nailed three-consecutive 3-pointers to lift the Broncos to a 10-point advantage with 3:04 left. Boise State never relinquished the double-digit lead the rest of the way as the Broncos closed on a 15-2 run to record a 75-61 exhibition win over Alaska Sunday afternoon in Taco Bell Arena.
“I was really pleased with our offensive rebounding, we went to the boards really hard,” said head coach Gordy Presnell. “I am a little disappointed with our shooting percentages and the turnovers. It was our first game out with a number of freshman, I think a number of the kids stepped up overall today. But we got the win. Now we head back to work this week as we prepare for the opener next weekend.”
Boise State looked good at times and struggle at other times. But it is what you expect for an exhibition contest as the Broncos worked on a lot of lineups and evaluated where there are heading into next Sunday’s regular season opener against Southern Oregon.
On the day five Broncos reached double-figures in points and four had eight or more rebounds. Shalen Shaw recorded a double-double on 10 points and team-high 13 boards to go with two assists, two blocks and three steals.
“It wasn’t our best game today,” said Shalen Shaw. “But we have time to improve and work before heading into the opener. As for the glass, I just try to see where the ball is going first, then just go after it. I thought as a team we did well rebounding today.”
Marijke Vanderschaaf lead the team in scoring finishing with 15 on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor. The redshirt-sophomore just missed the double-double adding nine rebounds in 27 minutes of action.
Preseason All-Mountain West honoree Brooke Pahukoa followed with 14 points powered by 4-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc. She added eight boards, and one assist in the win over the Nanooks.
Lupfer was solid in her first collegiate game going 4-of-6 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the arc, which included the three hit midway through the fourth that pushed the Broncos to victory.
“In the fourth quarter I had some wide open shots created by my teammates,” Lupfer said. “The team did a good job running the plays and setting screens to get me open. All I had to do was just stroke it.”
“I thought Riley really came alive for us in the fourth quarter and hit some big shots down the stretch,” said Presnell. “She had a good first game and I’m excited to see what she will do over the course of her career.”
Marta Hermida, last year’s MW Freshman of the Year, was the fifth Bronco to score double-digit points finishing with 10. She also had three rebounds and two assists.
Boise State opened the game quick rolling off a 9-0 run as they pushed the ball inside where Vanderschaaf sank seven of her game-high 15 points during the run. However, things slowed down for the blue and orange as Alaska rallied with a 16-3 run to go up 16-12. The Nanooks led 20-16 at the end of the first quarter.
The second period saw the teams trade mini runs, but the Nanooks never surrendered the lead. Boise State came from six down at 25-19 with 7:21 left in the quarter to close to within one 30-29 at the half when Shaw nailed a layup with six seconds to go.
The third period saw Boise State shoot 47.7 percent as they rattled off a 14-2 run to take what seemed to be a comfortable 45-35 lead with 5:05 left in the period. But the pesky Alaska Nanooks refused to go away as they clawed their way back to within four points, 50-46, by the end of the quarter.
Boise State never relinquished the lead in the fourth quarter, but the game got interesting as Alaska pulled to within one twice. The last was with 4:20 to play when Autumn Childers nailed a trey to make it Broncos 60-59.
That setup Lupfers’ late heroics as she brought the Broncos to life with three consecutive 3-pointers. The first came with 4:04 on the clock, the last was with 3:04 to go and gave Boise State a 10-point lead 69-59. That sparked the Broncos final 15-2 run to close out the contest with a victory.
Leading the offense was senior point guard Yaiza Rodriguez who dished out an impressive 14 assists to go with four points, one rebound and three steals in 34 minutes.
Joyce Harrell used her athleticism to her advantage and was a major force for Boise State in the post. The sophomore from Seattle, Wash., scored five points and grabbed nine rebounds, she added one assist and two blocks on the day.
Brittney Pahukoa saw 11 minutes of action recording four rebounds.
Joining Lupfer for the first time on the floor wearing the blue and orange were junior transfer Brooke Wheeler who saw eight minutes of action; Braydey Hodgins came in at the point and finished with two points and two rebounds in six minutes; Jordan Woodvine played seven minutes at forward; Emerald Toth a center from Bozeman, Mont., played two minutes and recorded two points and a steal.
Boise State finished the game shooting 38.5 percent from the floor as a team. They hit 31 percent (9-29) from beyond the arc and 60 percent (6-10) from the charity stripe.
Alaska was led by Jordan Wilson who had a game-high 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor. Kaillee Skjold followed with a16 points but added a team-high 10 rebounds to notch the double-double.
The Nanooks shot 36.2 percent in the game, 15 percent (3-20) from beyond the arc and 76.2 percent (16-21) from the free-throw line.