What’s Happening This Week For The Broncos . . .
Boise State (13-4, 4-0 WAC) travels to Honolulu, Hawaii for their lone game of the week. The Broncos will take on the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine (7-10, 1-4 WAC) at 7:00 p.m. (Hawaiian) / 10:00 p.m. (mountain) Saturday night in the Stan Sheriff Center. This game will conclude three consecutive games on the road for WAC leading Boise State who will return home to host four straight from Jan. 24 thru Feb. 3.
Boise State’s Jessica Thompson Named WAC Player Of The Week . . .
DENVER - Boise State’s Jessica Thompson has been named the Western Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Jan. 15. This is the first WAC Player of the Week honor for the sophomore and the third WAC Player of the Week honor for the Broncos this season.
Jessica Thompson, a sophomore from Temecula, California (Temecula Valley HS), started all three games for the Broncos at shooting guard leading them to a 3-0 record last week including 2-0 on the road over two previously unbeaten teams in league play. Boise State defeated Nevada 68-65 in Boise to open the week on Monday, then down New Mexico State Thursday night 66-52 followed by a impressive 68-47 victory over Louisiana Tech in Ruston. She recorded team highs in points in each game with 22 versus Nevada, 20 at NMSU, and 14 at Louisiana Tech Saturday night. The sophomore guard shot a combined 47.2 percent (17-of-36) from the floor, 50 percent (6-of-12) from beyond the arc, and 94.1 percent (16-of-17) from the free throw line on the week. Along with a 18.7 points per game average over the three games Thompson added 2.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 3.3 steals in 28 minutes of action per game. Thompson led the Broncos over Louisiana Tech and in the progress helped Boise State snap the Lady Techsters 114 game and 15 year unbeaten streak in league home games as Boise State claimed sole possession of first place in the WAC standings.
What Happened Lately For The Broncos . . .
At Louisiana Tech (1-13-07): Boise State ran out to an early lead and never looked back. The Broncos took a 17-point advantage into the half then stretched that to 25-points in the second period. Boise State’s defense caused trouble for Louisiana Tech throughout the game holding the Lady Techsters to 31.6 percent shooting from the floor and 9.1 percent (1-of-11) from three-point range in the contest. While the Broncos shot 42.9 percent from the hardwood, 39.1 (9-of-23) from behind the arc, and 68.8 percent (11-of-16) from the foul line. Boise State forced 19 turnovers resulting in 21 Bronco points. Four Broncos recorded double-digit points led by sophomore Jessica Thompson with a team high 14.
At New Mexico State (1-11-07): The Broncos surprised the Aggies, who entered the game with a 2-0 WAC mark, with a quick start claiming an early 6-0 lead. The visitors from Boise never trailed in the game. Boise State stretched the early lead to 16-points in the first half and eventually to 25 midway through the second period. The win was only the second for Boise State in eight trips to Las Cruces. For the seventh straight game the Broncos shot the ball well hitting 44 percent from the floor, 45.5 percent (5-of-11) from three-point range, and 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from the foul line. Sophomore guard Jessica Thompson led the Broncos with her fourth consecutive 20 plus point game with 20 points against the Aggies.
Vs. Nevada (1-8-07): The Broncos moved to 2-0 on the year in league play and 11-4 overall this past Monday night when they rallied past Nevada in the second half to claim a hard fought 68-65 win at home in Boise. After struggling to hit their shots in the first half shooting 31 percent from the floor, Boise State shot 59.1 percent from the court, 66.7 percent from three-point range, and 87.5 percent from the foul line in the second period to propel them to the victory. The win moved the Broncos to 2-0 in WAC play for the first time since joining the league six years ago for the 2001-02 season.
(Note: all statistics listed in this release are for the entire season unless noted otherwise and are as of 1/18/07.)
About The Broncos In 2006-07 . . .
Boise State entered league play with the best overall non-conference mark in the WAC at 9-4. They have since gone 4-0 in league games to move to 13-4, the best start for the Broncos overall since the 1993-94 season (16-2). The Broncos enter the week ranked first in the conference standings one game ahead of Fresno State, Nevada, New Mexico State, and Louisiana Tech all at 3-1. Boise State’s 4-0 league mark includes three road wins, the most by the Broncos since joining the WAC for the 2001-02 season. Following this week’s road game at Hawaii on Saturday, the Broncos will return home to host four straight in Taco Bell Arena and seven of their final 11 games. Boise State features the second ranked scoring offense and the top ranked scoring defense in the WAC entering this week’s games.
Who To Watch For The Broncos . . .
Boise State has three players averaging double-figure points led by sophomore guard Jessica Thompson at 15.0 points per game (4th in WAC) to go with 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.4 steals (4th in WAC) per game. In 17 games she has recorded 14 games in double-figure points, six with 20 plus points. Thompson leads the conference in scoring during league competition at 20.0 points per game. Michelle Hessing, a senior center out of Boise, averages 11.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks (2nd in WAC) per game through the season. The senior captain recorded a career high 22 points against Pittsburgh Nov. 25 in Eugene, Oregon. Sophomore point guard Tasha Harris is third in scoring at 10.0 points per game to go with 3.5 rebounds, and a team high 2.7 assists (9th in WAC) per game. On the glass, sophomore Rebecca Kepilino leads the team with 5.2 rebounds per game (15th in WAC), followed by seniors Hessing at 4.9 rpg and Jackie Thompson with 4.7 rpg.
Offensively As A Team . . .
Boise State is an up-tempo team who looks to push the ball up the floor. The Broncos have recorded 70 or more points eight times this season going 7-1 in those contests. The Broncos enter the Hawaii game with the WAC’s second ranked scoring offense averaging 68.5 points per game while shooting 40.7 percent (t-1st in WAC) from the floor, 30.3 percent (87-of-287) from beyond the arc, and 70.4 percent (252-of-358) from the foul line to rank fourth in the league. In league games they are averaging 70.5 points per game (4th in WAC). On the boards Boise State averages 38.6 rebounds per game ranking fourth in the WAC. They are a plus 6.9 (1st in WAC) in scoring margin, plus 1.6 (4th in WAC) in rebounding margin, and plus 3.1 (2nd in WAC) in turnover margin.
Defensively As A Team . . .
Defensively, Boise State features the top ranked scoring defense in the WAC allowing 61.6 points per game on the year. In league games they are allowing 58.5 points per game (3rd in WAC). They have also held their opponents to 40 percent shooting from the hardwood and 33 percent from long range. The Broncos possess the best (tied for 1st) rebounding defense in the league holding opponents to 37.1 rebounds per game. Boise State forces 18.6 turnovers per game in comparison to their giving it away 15.6 times per game. Boise State is ranked first in the WAC and 39th nationally (1/14/07 last national rankings released) for fewest turnovers per game. They also lead the WAC in assist/turnover ratio at 0.83.
What’s Back From 2005-06 . . .
Coach Presnell enters his second year at Boise State. The Broncos made an immediate improvement under the new coach’s leadership in his first season in 2005-06 going 15-15 overall, 6-10 in league action to place sixth, and advanced to the conference tournament’s semifinals. It was the first non-losing season for the Broncos in six seasons and the highest conference finish since the program joined the league for the 2001-02 campaign.
Boise State returns every impact player from last year’s squad including four starters, nine letterwinners, and a redshirt sophomore. Among the returners are the top five scorers and rebounders from a squad that scored the most points in eight years with 1,984 points (66.1 points per game) and set a school record for team rebounds in a season with 1,252. The Broncos return 90.5 percent of their points, 86.7 percent of the rebounds, 83.7 percent of the assists, and their entire scoring punch from outside the three-point arc. Boise State has led the league in three-point percentage in three of their first five seasons of membership including the last two years.
SCOUTING GAME 18: Hawaii (7-10, WAC 1-4)
About The Bronco-Rainbow Wahine Series . . .
Hawaii leads the all-time series by a 9-3 margin. The series began when the Broncos joined the WAC with the 2001-02 season. The Broncos won two-of-three games with the Wahine last year as the two teams split the regular season series with the home team winning followed by Boise State’s 72-63 win over Hawaii at the WAC Tournament. Hawaii is one-of-two schools in the WAC that Boise State has never defeated (0-5) on the road, the other is San Jose State. Last year’s regular season results: BSU 83-75 in Boise on Jan. 23 and UH 72-67 in Honolulu on Feb. 11.
What Has Happened Lately For Hawaii . . .
The Wahine have struggled during the first two weeks of league action going 0-4. They dropped a pair of home games to open conference to New Mexico State (58-51) and Louisiana Tech (64-53), then followed by losing at Nevada (69-59) and at Fresno State (75-69 ot) last week. Hawaii is 6-10 on the year and 5-6 at home.
Who To Watch For Hawaii . . .
Pam Tambini, a senior forward, leads the Wahine in scoring averaging 13.2 points per game (7th in WAC) to go with 6.6 rebounds 6th in WAC). Janevia Taylor is second in scoring at 12.5 points per game 11th in WAC) along with 4.5 rebounds per game. On the boards, Tanya Smith leads Hawaii at 8.6 rebounds per game (4th in WAC).
Hawaii As A Team . . .
Offensively, Hawaii averages 62.9 points per game (6th in WAC) and allows 65.5 (5th in WAC). The Rainbow Wahine shoot 38.5 percent (5th in WAC) from the floor, 31.1 percent (84-of-270) from behind the arc, and 65.2 percent (8th in WAC) from the charity stripe. They are the second ranked offensive rebounding team in the league at 41.8 boards per game. They also lead the league in team blocks per game at 4.7 and rank last in turnover margin at -4.00.
More About Hawaii . . .
Hawaii returned four starters and 11 letterwinners from last year’s 18-10 team that went 10-6 in league to place tied for 4th. Jim Bolla is in his third season where he has gone 35-35 overall, his collegiate coaching record is 335-155 in 17 years. The Wahine were picked to place fourth by the league’s coaches and third by the media.