► What’s Happening
Boise State University (8-8, 1-1 WAC) continues defense of its 2008 Western Athletic Conference regular season title this Monday when they host the University of Hawai’i (3-12, 0-2 WAC) at 7:00 p.m. (Mountain) in Taco Bell Arena. This is the lone game of the weekend for Boise State who split a pair of road games last week to open conference play defeating the University of Idaho 60-56 before dropping a hard fought 62-52 game at Fresno State. Hawai’i’s encounter with Boise State is the third road game over a five day period to open conference action for the Wahine, losing 78-50 at Fresno State Thursday night and 54-50 at San Jose State Saturday.
► Radio Information
All of the Broncos’ regular and postseason games can be heard live over the Boise State Radio network. Doug Link, assistant sports information director, enters his 11th season providing the play-by-play for every contest. Each broadcast begins with a 15 minute pregame show and ends with a postgame wrap-up with head coach Gordy Presnell. KBSU AM 730 in Boise, KEZJ AM 1450 in Twin Falls, and KBSK FM 89.9 in McCall.
► The Broncos’ Record
The Broncos enter the week at 8-8 overall and 1-1 in WAC play. They are coming off a road split last weekend to open league action defeating the Idaho Vandals 60-56 before falling 62-52 at Fresno State. Prior to that they suffered a frustrating 53-48 loss at home to Arizona on Dec. 29. Boise State finished its nonconference schedule with the loss to the Arizona Wildcats giving the Broncos a 7-7 mark.
► New Look Broncos
The Broncos had eight returning letterwinners and three starters from last year’s championship squad entering the 2008-09 campaign. However, injuries have since sidelined several Broncos including four players, two All-WAC performers in 2008, who were projected starters prior to the start of the season. Entering conference play Boise State has four of the eight returning veterans available to them, the other seven active players on the roster either redshirted (5) last year or are true freshmen (2).
► Revolving Lineup
To date, Boise State is on its sixth different starting lineup do primarily to injuries. At this point in the year 11 different Broncos have started at least one game this season. One active starter is back from last year’s lineup in senior forward Jenna Galassi. Joining her now in starting roles are senior point guard Jamia Malone, freshmen guards Heather Pilcher and Courtney VanBrocklin, and redshirt sophomore post Janie Bos. Entering this weekend the five have a combined 92 career starts at Boise State with Galassi accounting for 56.
► Looking at Boise State As A Team
Under head coach Gordy Presnell, Boise State has become a program that is at its best pushing the ball up the floor in a fast-paced contest. However, injuries have impacted that tempo preference a bit in 2008-09.
Offensively, the Broncos are struggling averaging 62.4 points per game (3rd WAC) while shooting 36.7 percent (7th WAC) from the floor, 26.2 percent (9th WAC) from the 3-point arc, and 64.9 percent (6th WAC) from the free-throw line.
Defensively, Boise State has allowed 63.6 points per game (6th WAC) while opponents have shot 37.1 percent (3rd WAC) from the floor and 26.2 percent (2nd WAC) from the 3-point line. On the glass, Boise State is out rebounded by an average of 1.4 per game (7th WAC), 41.2 (3rd WAC) to 42.7 (8th WAC) rebounds.
Note: statistical rankings are for all games.
► Who To Watch For Boise State
The Broncos are currently led by a trio of underclassmen ranked in the top four for scoring on the team.
Freshman guard Heather Pilcher now leads the team in scoring at 10.0 points per game (16th WAC) to go with 1.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.4 steals. She has open conference play ranked second in scoring after two games averaging 18 ppg. The freshman from Lynwood, Calif., has led the Broncos in scoring during the last two games scoring 16 points at Idaho followed by 20 at Fresno State.
Sophomore forward Marisa Stotler has struggled lately slipping to second in scoring averaging 9.4 points per game while recording a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game (6th WAC).
Senior guard Brittany Moore ranks third in scoring at 7.9 points per game to go with 1.9 rebounds. She has missed the last two games because of injury. Prior to her injury versus Arizona, she had led the Broncos in scoring during the previous four games averaging 16.8 points per game including a career-high 21 against Saint Mary’s on Dec. 22.
Freshman Courtney VanBrocklin is fourth in scoring adding 6.6 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Note: statistical rankings are for all games unless noted otherwise.
Game 17 vs. Hawai’i
► The Game Monday (1/12/09)
Monday’s encounter between Boise State and the visiting University of Hawai’i will be the first of two meetings this year and 17th all-time. It will pit the Broncos’ third ranked scoring offense averaging 62.4 points per game against the Wahine’s eighth ranked squad scoring 57.5 points per game. Boise State is led by freshman guard Heather Pilcher (10.0 ppg, 1.9 rpg) and sophomore forward Marisa Stotler (9.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg). Pilcher ranks second in the league for scoring during conference play at 18.0 points per game. Hawai’i will counter with its top two players in sophomore guard Keisha Kanekoa (12.8 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and junior guard Megan Tinnin (9.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg). Boise State has gone 6-1 versus Hawai’i since Gordy Presnell took over the Bronco program for the 2005-06 campaign.
► A Quick Look at the Series
Monday’s game between Boise State and Hawai’i will be the 17th edition of the all-time series in which the Rainbow Wahine lead 9-7. The series began when Boise State joined the WAC for the 2001-02 season. Hawai’i dominated the series in the early years winning eight of the first nine meetings. However, the Broncos have turned the momentum in their favor recently winning six of the last seven encounters including five straight. Hawai’i holds a 4-3 advantage in games played in Boise. However, the Broncos have won three straight at home versus Hawaii since coach Presnell took over for the 2005-06 season.
► Last Year
▪ Boise State swept both encounters.
▪ Boise State won 77-73 in Honolulu on Jan. 24, 2008 and 66-55 in Boise on March 1, 2008.
▪ In Honolulu (1/24/08) - Tasha Harris (24) and Jenna Galassi (21) combined for 45 points to lead Boise State over Hawaii. The Broncos took a 16-point lead into halftime then battled to hold off a frantic Rainbow Wahine rally in the second half.
The second half saw the teams reverse their fortunes as Boise State struggled to score while Hawaii slowly chipped away at the Bronco lead. The Wahine cut the lead to three points twice in the final minute of the game but Boise State’s Harris and Ja'Lara Walker converted three-of-four free throws in the final 15 seconds to win the game. Tanya Smith led Hawai’i with 25 points and 17 rebounds.
▪ In Boise (3/1/08) - Ja'Lara Walker led the Broncos with team-highs for points and rebounds on 14 and eight respectively. After taking a three-point lead into halftime the Broncos slowly pulled away from the Rainbow Wahine in the second half to win their 13th game in a row, the second longest win streak in program history.
The first half was a struggle as neither team seemed to get any momentum. The second half saw Boise State opened the final 20 minutes with a 8-0 run to take an 11-point, 33-22, lead. The Broncos then maintained at least a seven point lead until the Hawaii pulled to within four points, 41-37, with 9:36 to go. With the Rainbow Wahine closing in, the Broncos responded with an 11-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 11 point, 50-39, advantage. They eventually stretched it to a game-high 14 points, 55-41, with 5:34 remaining. Hawaii was unable to pull any closer than eight points in the final five and half minutes.
Boise State had four players in double-figure scoring Walker with 14, Jenna Galassi with 12, Tasha Harris had 11, and Jackie Lee with 10. Hawai’i was led by Saundra Cariaga with 15 points and Tanya Smith with 12 points and 14 boards.
► Scouting Hawai’i
Head Coach - Hawai’i is in it’s fifth season under head coach Jim Bolla who is 59-69 at the school and 359-189 overall. While at the helm of the Wahine program he has gone 3-6 versus Boise State. What’s Happened So Far - The Rainbow Wahine have gone 3-12 overall and 0-2 in WAC play. They have lost four straight contests and are coming off losses at Fresno State (78-50) and at San Jose State (54-50). As a Team - Entering Monday’s game, Hawai’i is a -9.2 in scoring margin (8th WAC) averaging 57.5 points per game (8th WAC) while allowing 66.8 ppg (7th WAC). They have shot 39.8 percent (2nd WAC) from the court, 30.2 percent (3rd WAC) from the arc, and 66.3 percent (4th WAC) from the foul line. Who to Watch - Sophomore Keisha Kanekoa leads Hawai’i averaging 12.8 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. Megan Tinnin is second in scoring at 9.3 ppg and 3.9 rpg, followed by Sarah Ilic at 8.8 ppg and 3.7 rpg. What’s Back From Last Year - The Wahine returned two starters and seven letterwinners from last year’s 12-18 squad that went 6-10 in the WAC to place sixth. Conference Preseason Polls - The league’s coaches picked the Rainbow Wahine to place seventh in this year’s WAC race, while the media pegged them sixth.