Cold Start Dooms Broncos
Nov. 17, 2017

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HONOLULU, Hawaii - Boise State shot just 2-for-16 from the field in the opening quarter, falling into a 25-6 hole that proved too much to overcome in Friday night's 72-52 loss to San Diego at the Bank of Hawai'i Classic in Honolulu.

San Diego (3-0) opened the game 5-for-7, led by 3-for-3 shooting and seven points from Aubrey Ward-El to take an 11-0 lead just 2:17 into the contest. Shalen Shaw got the Broncos on the board with seven minutes left in the quarter, breaking a 0-for-5 start for Boise State, but the Broncos missed their next three attempts while the Toreros stayed hot, hitting two of their next three to stretch their lead to 15-2.

The Toreros would go on to end the quarter with a 6-0 run to make it 25-6, Boise State's biggest deficit to end an opening frame since NCAA women's basketball went to the quarter format in 2015-16.

Rebounding and turnovers helped do in the Broncos (1-1) Friday night, with the opening quarter a bad harbinger of things to come. San Diego out-rebounded Boise State, 17-9, over the opening 10 minutes, and went on to win the rebound battle by a 49-26 margin in the contest, including a 25-7 advantage on the offensive glass. Boise State's five turnovers in the first quarter started a night which finished with the Broncos committing 20 turnovers. The Toreros used their control of the offensive glass to score 23 second-chance points, while also scoring 22 points off of Bronco turnovers.

"They were the aggressor, and we did not respond like we'd like to. We played the whole game on our heels and we gave them so many second-chance opportunities," said Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell. "The offensive rebounding and the turnovers gave us relatively no chance to get back into the game."

Boise State tried to fight its way back into the contest, but could never string together enough successful possessions to give itself a chance. The Broncos outscored San Diego, 19-15, in the second quarter to close to within 15 at the break, and Shaw's 3-pointer on the opening possession of the second half cut the Torero lead to 40-28. But the window closed quickly on the Broncos, as San Diego answered Shaw's triple with a 10-4 run, highlighted by a three-point play from Alexandra Hagen that got the Toreros in front by 18 at 48-30 with 7:10 left in the quarter.

"It helped in the second quarter that we got things going a little bit, but they just pounded us on the boards. and we did not compete with them," Presnell said.

The Broncos fought back to close the quarter down 13 at 54-41, but again, the offense stalled, as Boise State got a pair of stops to open the fourth quarter but could not convert any of their own possessions to put pressure on San Diego. Boise State opened the frame 0-for-3 on its opening three possessions, then committed four-straight turnovers as the Toreros, behind Ward-El, who led all scorers with 20 points, built their lead out to 62-41 until Riley Lupfer's 3-pointer broke the Broncos' scoring drought with 5:43 to play.

Ward-El led four Toreros scoring in double figures, as Hagen finished the night with 13 points and seven rebounds, Sydney Williams had 12 and Maya Hood 10. Myah Pace led all players with 10 rebounds, with six coming on the offensive end.

Ellie Woerner was the only Bronco to reach double figures in points, scoring 10, while Lupfer and A'Shanti Coleman added eight apiece. Shaw, who battled foul trouble after picking up two in the opening quarter, and only played 21 minutes as a result, finished the night with five points.

Boise State will look to earn a split on the trip as it takes on Northern Arizona Sunday at 5:30 p.m.


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