Dec. 31, 2016
FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Brooke Pahukoa scored a team-high 20 points to lead Boise State to its first win at three-time defending Mountain West champ Colorado State since the Broncos joined the league (2011-12).
The Broncos led the Rams for 33 minutes but never by more than seven points as they held on for a low-scoring 51-45 victory Saturday afternoon at Fort Collins, Colo. The win improved the Broncos to 12-1 overall and 2-0 in MW play, while Colorado State fell to 9-5 on the year and 1-1 in league. The win also snapped CSU’s 22 home game win streak and their 22 game conference win streak overall.
“It was a great win for our program in an tough environment against a very strong program, they have won three straight conference titles, we were lucky to get out of here with the win,” said head coach Gordy Presnell. “The last two times we came here the game came down to the final minute and have not gone our way. So it is exciting for this one to go our way, especially for our seniors who have been apart of those games.
“I’m excited that we have won our first two leagues games, we are 12-1 overall and more important 2-0 in the Mountain West, but we still have 16 more to play,” said Presnell. “We are coming along and the team is improving with each game. We struggled a bit today, but they battled through it and we came out with the win.”
Brooke Pahukoa scored 11 of her 20 points, her fourth 20-plus game of season, during the first half, but the two most important points came on a pair of free throws in the final seconds to ice the game. The senior from Lake Stevens, Wash., moved into 13th-place on the Boise State career scoring list with 1,087 points. She also tallied four rebounds and one steal in the victory while playing 24 minutes.
“Brooke (Pahukoa) did a really good job penetrating today and going to the foul line, I think she went 15 times and did a good job for us,” Presnell said. “She played with some pain but caused CSU lots of problems with her driving and finishing. It’s good to have her back, Brooke was big for us this afternoon.”
Boise State struggled to get its shots to fall in the first half, especially inside the 3-point arc. The Broncos had a seven-point 28-21 score advantage over the Rams at halftime, but they were forced to do it from long range. At the half six of Boise State’s eight made field goals in the first 20 minutes came from beyond the 3-point arc as they shot 27.6 percent from the floor at the break.
Yaiza Rodriguez, playing through a flu bug, had six points during the first 20 minutes on a pair of 3-pointers. The senior from Spain finished with 10 points, two rebounds, four assists and one steal in 36 minutes. Rodriguez’s four assists moved her into fifth-place all-time in MW history.
Neither team shot the ball well during the game as the Broncos hit a season-low 26.5 percent making 13-of-49 attempts. Meanwhile, Colorado State was a touch better hitting 30.6 percent (16-52). Nearly half of Boise State’s made field goals (6) during the contest were from 3-point range, while CSU forced it inside where they made 13 of their 16 baskets, the Rams went 3-of-21 from the arc.
The third quarter was another low scoring period with Brooke Pahukoa (4) and Rodriguez (4) combining for eight of Boise State’s nine points. The Rams had 12 points in the third to close to within 37-33 after three quarters.
The fourth period went to Boise State 14-to-12 and turned out to be a free throw shooting clinic. The Broncos were forced to win the game from the charity stripe where they made 10-of-12 attempts, including key free throws in the final 16 seconds that took a two-point (47-45) lead and stretched it out to six (51-45) at the buzzer. Marta Hermida converted two following a rough foul with 16 seconds left. Twelve seconds later Brooke Pahukoa hit two with four seconds on the clock to close it out.
Boise State finished the game making 19-of-25 (.760) free throw attempts. Brooke Pahukoa had most of those going 12-of-15 from the charity stripe.
Marijke Vanderschaaf led the Broncos on the glass with a career-high 11 rebounds, while adding four points, one block and one steal in 28 minutes of action.
Shalen Shaw battled early foul trouble but finished the game with four points, six rebounds, one block and two steals in 25 minutes. Shaw’s four rebounds moved her into 18th-place in the Boise State record book for career rebounds with 544, four short of tying for 17th.
Freshman Jordan Woodvine grabbed a career-high six rebounds to go with one assist and one steal in nine minutes of action.
Ellen Nystrom led Colorado State with a double-double on 13 points and 10 rebounds followed by Callie Kaiser with 13 points and six boards.
Boise State returns home Wednesday night to host the UNLV Lady Rebels (9-5, 0-2 MW) at 7 p.m. in Taco Bell Arena.