Broncos Suffer Second-Straight Loss
Dec. 20, 2017

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BOISE, Idaho - For the second-straight game, Boise State took a late lead only to go cold and see the lead slip away. Wednesday night at Taco Bell Arena, the Broncos were outscored, 9-1, by CSU Bakersfield as the Roadrunners captured a 65-59 victory.

It left a bitter taste for Boise State (5-5), which surrendered a 10-1, game-ending run in Monday night's 61-53 loss to Washington State.

Shalen Shaw, who scored 12 points with eight rebounds and six assists for the Broncos Wednesday, hit a fadeaway jumper to put the Broncos ahead, 58-56, with 2:14 to play. But, as with Monday night, Boise State didn't hit a field goal the rest of the way, going 0-for-3 with three turnovers, while the Roadrunners (6-6) used two fast-break layups from Jazmine Johnson off of Bronco turnovers to score five-straight and begin their game-winning run. After Shaw's go-ahead jumper, Boise State forced a Roadrunner turnover, but Johnson stole a pass from Braydey Hodgins just past midcourt, and scored uncontested to tie it up at 58-58. The next time down for the Broncos, Riley Lupfer missed a 3-pointer, with A'Shanti Coleman grabbing the board, but Coleman lost control of it, and Johnson ended up with the loose ball, driving for a layup and finishing with contact from Joyce Harrell. Johnson completed the three-point play to put the Roadrunners up for good at 61-58.

Marta Hermida pulled the Broncos to within two with a free throw with 58 seconds to play, but Alexxus Gilbert, who led the Roadrunners with 17 points on the night, hit a clutch jumper as the shot clock wound down with 29 second to go in the contest.

Boise State's struggles at the line, and turnovers, also bit them for the second-straight night. The Broncos shot a season-worst 42.9 (6-for-14) from the line Wednesday, and committed 21 turnovers, their fifth-straight game with at least 19. CSU Bakersfield, meanwhile, finished the game 10-for-12 from the line, with Aja Williams hitting two to ice the game with 12 seconds remaining.

"We really struggled with pressure, we really struggle down the stretch of games. We're just too soft down the stretch of games," said Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell. "We're just too soft. Hopefully these games will help us improve, but man, if you're a pressure team, you're licking your chops to play us right now."

The Broncos wasted strong efforts from Lupfer, who scored a season-high 17 points and went 4-for-10 from 3-point range, Shaw, and Harrell, who scored a season-high 10 points on 5-for-6 shooting and grabbed five rebounds. Harrell opened the scoring for Boise State, and went on to finish the first half with eight points as the Broncos held a 29-27 lead.

CSU Bakersfield, though, would heat up just enough in the second half. After going 0-for-10 from 3-point range in the first half, the Roadrunners got triples from Gilbert and Malaysia McHenry to pull even at 33-33.

Boise State, though, would go on a 10-5 spurt over the next four minutes, sparked by back-to-back treys from Lupfer that put the Broncos up 43-38 with 4:05 left in the third quarter. But the Roadrunners would answer with a 7-0 run behind five points from Williams, who finished the night with 12.

CSU Bakersfield would lead by as many as six at 53-47 with 5:48 to play before the Broncos made one last run. Coleman and Harrell scored on consecutive possessions to bring the Broncos with two and force a Roadrunner timeout, and, after a stop when play resumed, Hodgins drove and scored to pull Boise State even at 53-53.

"We didn't work as hard as we could, I'm the first person to say that [about myself]. I think I could do so much better than this. I take a lot of the blame for this loss," said Hermida, who finished the night with six points, six rebounds, and five assists, but went 1-for-9 from the field and committed six turnovers.

Boise State will finish its non-conference slate Thursday at 5:30 p.m., hosting St. Francis (Pa.).


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