FRESNO, Calif. (01/05/09) Freshman Heather Pilcher scored a career-high 20 points in Boise State’s 62-52 loss at Fresno State Monday night in a battle between the defending WAC co-champions. Unfortunately for the outmanned Broncos they could not get their shots to fall for them most of the night hitting below 30 percent during the contest. They fought hard throughout the game but ran out of gas down the stretch. The loss to the Bulldogs snapped the Broncos’ 15-game conference win streak.
Fresno State started the game fast jumping out to a 9-0 lead three minutes into the contest before the Broncos settled down. Boise State slowly clawed its way back into the game pulling within one point, 26-25, by the halftime break.
The second half saw Boise State’s Pilcher explode for 15 of her game-high 20 points. The freshman from Lynwood, Calif., opened the period by giving the Broncos their first lead of the game when she converted two free throws a minute into the half. She followed with a 3-pointer that put Boise State up 29-26.
After Fresno State cut the Bronco lead to one point, Courtney VanBrocklin gave Boise State its largest lead of the night on a 3-pointer from the right side giving the visitors a four-point 36-32 advantage.
Unfortunately, the Broncos hit a dry spell shortly after that while watching Fresno State rattled off an 11-0 run to claim the momentum and a seven-point lead at 43-36 with 13 minutes remaining. They eventually stretched it out to 12 points at 53-41 with 8:41 left.
The Broncos staged another rally with an 8-0 run which started with two Pilcher jumpers good for four points. Jamia Malone added a field goal of her own, followed by Marisa Stotler nailing a pair of free throws to get the Broncos within four points at 53-49 with 5:34 to play. That was the closest Boise State would get down the stretch as the Bulldogs held on for the win.
Heather Pilcher led Boise State with 20 points, three rebounds, two assists, and one steal. Jenna Galassi added 11 points and three boards, while Marisa Stotler recorded seven points and eight rebounds, followed by Jamia Malone’s six points, five rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Freshman Courtney VanBrocklin added three points and eight boards.
Bailey Amundsen led the Bulldogs with 17 points and four rebounds, followed by Hayley Munro with 12 points and 13 boards. Jaleesa Ross added four points and 11 rebounds.
Boise State struggled scoring on the night hitting 28.4 percent (19-67) from the floor, 16.7 percent (3-18) from the arc, and 73.3 percent from the foul line (11-15). Fresno State entered the game leading the nation in 3-pointers made per game at 9.5, they hit 10-of-39 against Boise State. They finished the game shooting 32.8 percent (19-58) from the court, over half their made field goals were 3-pointers. They also hit 14-of-20 free throws.
Boise State outscored Fresno State 22-to-18 in the paint, 23-to-12 in points off turnovers, and 10-to-eght in second chance points.
The loss drops Boise State to 8-8 overall and 1-1 in WAC play. Meanwhile, Fresno State improved to 10-4 overall and 1-0 in league. The next game for the Broncos is next Monday, Jan. 12, when they host Hawaii at Taco Bell Arena.