Broncos Win Overtime Classic At WSU
Dec. 4, 2016
PULLMAN, Wash. - Boise State (7-0) weathered an early first quarter surge from Washington State (5-3) and rallied back to defeat the Cougars in overtime, 77-73, in what was an instant classic in Pullman, Wash., at Beasley Coliseum on Sunday afternoon. The win maintains the Broncos' perfect record, and gives the Blue and Orange their first road win over a Pac-12 opponent since Dec. 9, 2007 when they took down WSU 71-64. The 7-0 record matches the same such start of the 2009-10 season.
"We persevered and I think we're playing with confidence down the stretch of games," head coach Gordy Presnell said. "When it's a close game our kids rise up and make plays, and I think we did that tonight. We missed a couple situations defensively but I thought our defense overall is much, much improved over last year."
Boise State used a 25-4 run over the course of the second and third quarters to negate an early eight-point Cougar lead. Brooke Pahukoa poured in 24 points to lead all scorers thanks to five three-pointers, good for her third 20-point performance of the season.
"I think the key to the game was that our bench was huge today," Pahukoa said. "They came in and were solid defensively, Joyce had a couple big buckets, Marijka was a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line and Yaiza handled pressure throughout the whole game. Everyone came to play today, and we really wanted to win this game."
Washington State sprinted out to an early 20-12 lead in the first quarter after making four three-pointers, but the Broncos weathered the storm and came back to cut the deficit to just two at the half, 29-27.
Boise State carried their momentum into the third quarter and used three triples - two from Pahukoa, one from Marta Hermida - to gain a 38-31 lead at the 6:00 minute mark in the third quarter. The Broncos would carry the seven-point lead (50-43) into the start of the fourth quarter after winning the third 23-14.
The Broncos enjoyed their largest lead of the game (55-43) with 8:40 left to play, but the Cougars would chip away and eventually tie the game at 66-66 with 21 seconds to play. Hermida had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but her reverse layup came up short off the front rim, sending the game to overtime.
Pahukoa knocked down a pair of free throws to strike first in overtime, but Washington State's Chanelle Molina answered with a three-pointer to claim a 69-68 lead. Hermida regained the lead for the Broncos after canning a mid-range jumper to make it 70-69, and Boise State never looked back.
Pahukoa made two free throws with 18 seconds to play to increase the lead to 76-73, and the Broncos came up with a huge stop on the other end to secure the victory.
"It was a pretty tough environment here and it can be a little intimidating, but that's one of the things we stressed going into the game - we weren't going to be immobilized by their size or athleticism," Presnell said. "I thought we were a little shaky at the beginning, but we eventually pulled through."
Yaiza Rodriguez filled up the box score in an extremely well-rounded performance. She tallied nine assists, eight points, four rebounds and three steals. Hermida poured in 15 and Shalen Shaw was right behind with 12 of her own. Pahukoa and Marijke Vanderschaaf led the rebounding charge with eight boards a piece.
Washington State held a slight advantage on the glass (47-46), but Boise State went 15-18 from the charity stripe and picked up seven steals en route to the historic road win.
The Broncos will return to Taco Bell Arena and host Concordia (Ore.) on Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m.
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