Broncos, Lobos In Battle Of MW Unbeatens
Jan. 2, 2018
Boise State (8-5, 2-0 MW) at New Mexico (14-1, 2-0 MW)
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State (8-5, 2-0 MW) aims for its first 3-0 start to Mountain West play Wednesday as it visits New Mexico (14-1, 2-0 MW) for a 7 p.m. tip. The Broncos will return to Taco Bell Arena, finishing the week with a Saturday contest against Wyoming at 2 p.m.
LAST TIME OUT
Riley Lupfer had a career day for the Broncos, setting personal benchmarks in scoring (28 points), field goals made (nine), and 3-pointers made (seven) in the victory.
With the game tied, 16-16, after a quarter, Boise State broke the game open with a 12-2 run to end the first half. Lupfer hit a key 3-pointer in the run, while Tess Amundsen scored all seven of her points on the day in the quarter, including a 3-pointer just before the halftime buzzer to put the Broncos in front, 38-24, at the break.
The Lobos, with Mike Bradbury in his second year at the helm, are led on the court by four players scoring in double figures. Tesha Buck leads the way with 15.9 points per game, while Cherise Beynon averages 15.2 points and 6.73 assists per game, Jaisa Nunn scores 14.6 points and grabs 10.6 rebounds a game, and Alex Lapeyrolerie scores 11.7 points per game.
LUPFER CLAIMS MOUNTAIN WEST HONOR AFTER CAREER DAY
Lupfer averaged 19.5 points and shot 50.0 percent (10-for-20) from behind the arc over Boise State’s wins at Colorado State and against UNLV, punctuating her week with a career day against the Lady Rebels that including personal benchmarks of 28 points, nine field goals, and seven 3-pointers made.
Two days earlier, at Colorado State, Lupfer scored 11 points, including a pair of key 3-pointers in the fourth quarter as the Broncos completed a 12-point comeback for the 62-58 victory.
GOING FOR THE FIRST 3-0 MW START
In fact, the last time Boise State opened a conference season 3-0 was 2006-07, when the Broncos won eight-straight to open WAC play en route to the regular season and tournament titles.
50-50 CHANCE AT THE PIT
The teams have alternated winning those six contests, with Boise State taking the even-year meetings (2012, 2014, 2016), and New Mexico capturing the odd-year contests (2013, 2015, 2017). With Wednesday’s meeting being the 2018 meeting, perhaps fate is tipping the Broncos?
WOERNER STEPS UP TO START MW PLAY
Woerner was key to the Broncos’ victory at Colorado State, matching her season high of 13 points, and going 6-for-6 from the line. Two days later, she added nine points, six rebounds, and five assists in the home win against UNLV.
HARRELL CONTINUES SURGE
Since stepping in to replace Vanderschaaf against the Huskies, Harrell has averaged 7.4 points and 5.4 rebounds over 20.4 minutes per game, and shot 59.5 percent (25-for-42) from the field.
Over Boise State’s 2-0 start to Mountain West play, Harrell was again tough for the Broncos, averaging 8.0 points and 7.0 rebounds, with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting Dec. 28 at Colorado State.
HITTING FROM DEEP
During this span, guard Riley Lupfer leads the Broncos with 14 treys, hitting at a 48.3-percent clip (14-for-29), while Braydey Hodgins (55.6 percent - 5-for-9) and freshman Tess Amundsen (40.0 percent - 2-for-5) have also helped. On her own, however, Lupfer has accounted for half of Boise State’s 3-pointers over the last three games.
AMUNDSEN’S RUN HURTS LADY REBELS
Key to this run was freshman forward Tess Amundsen, who scored all seven of her points for the game in the final 2:49 of the first half. Her run began with a pair of frer throws to make it 30-22 Broncos, continued with a steal and coast-to-coast layup with 51 seconds left ot make it 35-24, and finished with a 3-pointer with six seconds remaining.
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