BOISE, Idaho (1/17/2008) - It was not pretty but Boise State out gunned Utah State to win their conference home opener 85-77 Thursday night in Taco Bell Arena. Jessica Thompson and Tasha Harris each scored 19 points to lead the Broncos past the Aggies to remain undefeated, 6-0, at home this season. It had been 33 days since the Broncos last home game when they defeated Sacramento State on Dec. 15.
Boise State opened the game on a 6-0 run in the first minute of the game and looked like they could run away from the Aggies. However, Utah State had other things in mind as they rallied with their own run out scoring the Broncos 14-2 over the next five minutes to take a 14-8 lead with 14:09 to play in the period.
The two then traded mini runs as the Aggies maintain a 1-6 point advantage until the eight minute mark. Utah State took a 26-20 lead on a Taylor Richards 3-pointer with 8:00 to play in the half. That was the last field goal they would record in the opening 20-minutes.
Boise State bumped up their defense forcing 11 Aggie turnovers in the first half and out scoring USU 17-5 down the stretch as the Broncos claimed a six-point halftime lead. Jenna Galassi led Boise State early with 11 first half points. Utah State’s Jenny Gross recorded nine points which included seven-of-10 free throw shots. Gross had all five, foul shots, of the Aggies points in the final eight minutes.
The second half was ugly with numerous runs by both teams. The Broncos struck first stretching their six-point, 37-31, halftime lead to 14 points, 51-37, by the 14:22 mark of the half. The Aggies then cut the lead to seven points, 52-45, with 11:21 to go.
Boise State then responded by taking a 16-point advantage on a couple of occasions, the last came with 6:25 showing on the clock and the score at 67-51. The game ended with Utah State making a run each time the Broncos extended their lead into double-digit points.
Utah State eventually pulled to within six points in the closing minutes. Boise State’s last field goal came with 4:23 remaining. The Broncos closed the game at the foul line as Utah State reverted to fouling in an attempt to get back into the game. Boise State answered by nailing 12-of-16 free throws in the final two minutes. Harris went six-of-eight and Jackie Lee went four-of-four to lead four Broncos who went to the charity stripe in crunch time.
On the night Boise State shot 45.8 percent (27-59) from the court, 33.3 percent (5-15) from the arc, and 76.5 percent (26-34) from the free-throw line. Utah State hit 43.1 percent (28-65) from the floor, 26.1 percent (6-23) from the 3-point line, and 75 percent (15-20) from the foul line. Rebounding was even at 35 each, however, the Aggies held a slim eight-to-five advantage in second chance points.
Utah State entered the game leading the league in fewest turnovers per game at 15.4 tpg. Boise State forced 18 Aggie turnovers resulting in a 22-9 Bronco advantage in points off turnovers. Boise State committed 14 turnovers themselves.
Tasha Harris kept her streak of double-figure scoring games in tack with her 19 points extending her streak to 19 games. In addition to tying her career high for free throws going 10-of-12 from the line, she also added a team high eight rebounds, five assists, and four steals. Jessica Thompson tied Harris for the team high in points with 19 to go with her three boards, four assists, one block, and three steals. Jenna Galassi recorded a career high 15 points to go with five rebounds, while Ja'Lara Walker added eight points, Jackie Lee had seven, and Amanda Stewart chipped in six.
Jamelah Brown led four Aggies in double-digit scoring with a team high 24 points to go with four rebounds. Senior post Jenny Gross recorded a double-double on 17 points and a team high 10 rebounds, followed by Danyelle Snelgro’s 13 points and Taylor Richard’s 10.
The win keeps Boise State undefeated at home going 6-0 to date, while moving them to 10-6 overall and 2-2 in WAC play. Utah State falls to 6-10 overall and 2-2 in league. Next up for the Broncos is Nevada (11-4, 2-0 WAC) at 7:00 p.m. Saturday night in Taco Bell Arena. The Wolf Pack was at Idaho Thursday night.
Newspaper Box Score
Utah State vs Boise State
01/17/08 7:00 pm at Boise, Idaho (Taco Bell Arena)
BOISE STATE 85, UTAH STATE 77
UTAH STATE (6-10, 2-2 WAC)
Brown, Jamelah 9-18 4-5 24; Gross, Jenny 5-8 7-11 17; Snelgro, Danyelle 4-10
4-4 13; Richards, Taylor 4-8 0-0 10; Shipley, Lindsey 3-7 0-0 7; Pares, Ana
2-9 0-0 4; Diop, Ndoumbe 1-1 0-0 2; Johnson, Nicole 0-3 0-0 0; Coddington,
Alice 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-65 15-20 77.
BOISE STATE (10-6, 2-2 WAC)
Thompson, Jessica 8-16 2-3 19; Harris, Tasha 4-11 10-12 19; Galassi, Jenna
6-10 3-4 15; Walker, Ja'Lara 2-3 4-4 8; Lee, Jackie 1-3 4-4 7; Stewart,
Amanda 2-5 2-4 6; Moore, Brittany 2-7 0-0 5; Malone, Jamia 1-3 1-3 4;
Moeller, Sierra 1-1 0-0 2; Rima, Melissa 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 27-59 26-34 85.
Utah State.................... 31 46 - 77
Boise State................... 37 48 - 85
3-point goals--Utah State 6-23 (Richards, Taylor 2-4; Brown, Jamelah 2-5;
Snelgro, Danyelle 1-3; Shipley, Lindsey 1-3; Johnson, Nicole 0-1;
Coddington, Alice 0-1; Pares, Ana 0-5; Gross, Jenny 0-1), Boise State 5-15
(Moore, Brittany 1-3; Harris, Tasha 1-3; Lee, Jackie 1-2; Malone, Jamia 1-3;
Thompson, Jessica 1-4). Fouled out--Utah State-None, Boise State-None.
Rebounds--Utah State 35 (Gross, Jenny 10), Boise State 35 (Harris, Tasha 8).
Assists--Utah State 11 (Gross, Jenny 4), Boise State 16 (Harris, Tasha 5).
Total fouls--Utah State 21, Boise State 17. Technical fouls--Utah
State-None, Boise State-None. A-750