Boise State Prepares for Big Weekend, Host New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech...
► What’s Happening This Weekend
Boise State University (9-9, 2-2 WAC) continues defense of its 2008 Western Athletic Conference regular season title when they host New Mexico State University (6-12, 2-2 WAC) Friday and Louisiana Tech University (9-9, 2-2 WAC) Sunday. Both games will be played at Taco Bell Arena where the Broncos have won 12-consecutive home games against league opponents. Friday night’s encounter with NMSU is scheduled to tip at 7:00 p.m. (Mountain), while Sunday’s game versus the Lady Techsters will start at 2:00 p.m.
► About The Broncos
The Broncos enter the week at 9-9 overall and 2-2 in WAC play. They look to turn the corner after a disappointing performance at Utah State last Saturday, Jan. 17, where they lost 58-44 suffering their first loss to the Aggies since 1978. Prior to that, Boise State claimed a come-from-behind 70-61 home victory over Hawai’i on Jan. 12.
The Man In Charge...
● Gordy Presnell - The Broncos are in their fourth year under the leadership of head coach Gordy Presnell. To date, he has gone 72-41 while at Boise State and 468-168 in 22 seasons as a collegiate head coach. In competition with this week’s opponents he has gone 5-4 versus New Mexico State and 3-3 against Louisiana Tech.
As a Team...
● Offensively - The Broncos have struggled averaging 61.8 points per game (4th WAC) while shooting 36.7 percent (7th WAC) from the floor, 26.4 percent (9th WAC) from the 3-point arc, and 65.3 percent (6th WAC) from the free-throw line.
● Defensively - Boise State has allowed 63.2 points per game (5th WAC) while opponents have shot 37.4 percent (3rd WAC) from the floor and 28 percent (2nd WAC) from the 3-point line. On the glass, Boise State is out rebounded by an average of 1.8 per game (7th WAC), 40.4 (3rd WAC) to 42.3 (8th WAC) rebounds.
Who To Watch...
● Heather Pilcher - The freshman guard has recently earned a starting role and now leads the team in scoring at 10.1 points per game (16th WAC) and is the highest ranked freshman in the conference. The Lynwood, Calif., native has led the Broncos in scoring during three of the last four games. She is also tied for sixth place in the WAC standings for scoring during conference play averaging 14.5 ppg.
● Marisa Stotler - The sophomore forward has struggled scoring lately but is a potent threat to opponents off the bench. She is currently second in scoring averaging 8.9 points per game while recording 6.4 rebounds per game (13th WAC).
● Courtney VanBrocklin - The freshman has worked her way into the starting lineup as the third guard. At the moment she is ranked third on the team in scoring adding 7.4 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists (14th WAC) and 1.4 steals per game (t-13th WAC).
● Brittany Moore - The senior guard ranks fourth in scoring at 7.2 points per game. She missed the Idaho and Fresno State games because of injury but return against Hawaii in a reserve role. Prior to her injury versus Arizona on Dec. 29, 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.
Note: statistical rankings are for all games unless noted otherwise.
► Scouting Game 19 New Mexico State on Friday (1/23/09)
Game 19 features the New Mexico State Aggies (6-12, 2-2 WAC) who are coming off a sweep at home last weekend over San Jose State 68-51 and Fresno State 80-74. They are currently tied with Boise State and Louisiana Tech for fourth place in the league standings.
● The Head Coach - New Mexico State is in its sixth season under the direction of head coach Darin Spence. He currently owns a 74-94 record with the Aggies and a 391-174 overall collegiate head coaching mark. Spence is 4-5 versus the Broncos and has never won in Boise.
● As a Team - Entering this weekend, New Mexico State possesses the WAC’s third ranked scoring offense averaging 62.6 points per game while shooting 38.3 percent (5th WAC) from the floor, 33.3 percent (2nd WAC) from the arc, and 69.4 percent (2nd WAC) from the foul line. Defensively they allow 68.6 points per game (8th WAC) while opponents have shot 42.5 percent (8th WAC) from the court and 35.5 percent (8th WAC) from behind the 3-point line. They are seventh in rebounding averaging 36.4 boards per game while opponents grab 40.2 per game (6th WAC).
● Who to Watch - Sophomore guard Madison Spence leads the Aggies and is ranked third in the WAC for scoring at 15.0 points per game. She is followed by sophomore Danisha Corbett at 12.2 points per game (11th WAC).
● What’s Back From Last Year - The Aggies returned two starters and seven letterwinners from last year’s 23-9 squad that went 11-5 in the WAC to place third.
● Conference Preseason Polls - The league’s coaches and media picked Utah State to place fifth in this year’s WAC race.
► A Quick Look at the Series
Friday’s game will be the 18th edition of the NMSU-Boise State series which the Broncos hold a slim lead in 9-8. The Aggies have never won in Boise going 0-7 versus the Broncos on their home floor. Last year the Aggies took two-of-three games versus the Broncos as the teams split the regular season series, home team won both, while NMSU defeated Boise State 72-66 in the WAC Tournament semifinals at Las Cruces, N.M., on the Aggies’ home court.
► The Last Time the Aggies and Broncos Met
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (3/14/08) - The last time these two met was during the 2008 WAC Tournament semifinal round in Las Cruces, N.M. The New Mexico State Aggies rallied from 19 down in the second half to eliminate Boise State from the tournament with a 72-66 victory in the Pan American Center. After shooting 47 percent from the floor in the first half the Broncos struggled in the second hitting just 23 percent allowing the Aggies an opportunity to rally late to claim the win. Jenna Galassi led the Broncos with 18 points followed by Tasha Harris with 12 and Jackie Lee with 11. Hannah Spanich led NMSU with 18 points followed by Anikia Jawara with a double-double on 15 points and 10 rebounds, Sherell Neal added 10 points and nine boards.
► Scouting Game 20 Louisiana Tech on Sunday (1/25/09)
Game 20 brings one of the league’s traditional powers to Taco Bell Arena for a Sunday afternoon matinee. Louisiana Tech (9-9, 2-2 WAC), winners of six WAC titles in eight years, comes to Boise following a split at home last weekend losing 78-53 to Fresno State before rebounding with a 70-53 win over San Jose State. They are currently tied with Boise State and New Mexico State for fourth place in the league standings. The Lady Techsters will play at Idaho Friday night before making the journey to Boise for Sunday’s game.
● The Head Coach - The Lady Techsters are in their fourth season under the guidance of head coach Chris Long. He has accumulated a 68-42 overall record at Louisiana Tech, which is also his career coaching mark. Long is currently 3-3 versus the Broncos.
● As a Team - Entering this weekend, Louisiana Tech has the WAC’s second ranked scoring offense averaging 66.7 points per game while shooting 40.1 percent (2nd WAC) from the floor, 28.5 percent (6th WAC) from the arc, and 55.4 percent (9th WAC) from the foul line. Defensively they allow 61.7 points per game (3rd WAC) while opponents have shot 35.7 percent (1st WAC) from the court and 26.1 percent (1st WAC) from behind the 3-point line. They lead the conference in rebounding averaging 44.8 boards per game while allowing opponents 43.2 per game (9th WAC).
● Who to Watch - Shanavia Dowdell leads the WAC in scoring and is second in rebounding. The junior averages 15.9 points and 9.4 boards per game. She is followed by sophomore Whitney Jones at 13.8 points per game, while sophomore Adrienne Johnson adds 13.7 each time out. They are ranked fourth and fifth in the WAC for scoring respectively.
● What’s Back From Last Year - The Lady Techsters returned three starters and 10 letterwinners from last year’s 16-15 squad that went 9-7 in the WAC to place tied for fourth.
● Conference Preseason Polls - The league’s coaches and media both picked Louisiana Tech to place third in this year’s WAC race.
► A Quick Look at the Series
Sunday’s game will be the 19th edition of the La Tech-Boise State series which the Lady Techsters had dominated until recently owning a 14-4 advantage over the Broncos. The series began when both teams joined the WAC for the 2001-02 campaign. Louisiana Tech won nine straight to open the series and 13 of the first 14 encounters. However, Boise State has won three of the last four including a sweep in last year’s series. The Broncos began their school-record-tying 15-game win streak at Louisiana Tech last year by the score of 85-68, then won the rematch in Boise 70-54. Boise State enters the week with a two-game win streak going against La Tech.
► The Last Time the Lady Techsters and Broncos Met
BOISE, Idaho (2/7/08) - BOISE, Idaho (2/7/08) - After going into the halftime break down one, 27-26, the Broncos came out inspired in the second half running off a 7-0 run to start the period to take the lead for good. Unfortunately, the Lady Techsters came right back tying the game at 39 with 15:21 to play. But La Tech failed to recapture the lead. Boise State then slowly began to pull away from Louisiana Tech with a 17-4 run over the next eight minutes. Once the Broncos stretched the lead to double digits, 53-43, by the 9:49 mark of the period the Lady Techsters would not get no closer than 10 points the rest of the way. Boise State made a dramatic improvement in the second half on the boards. After trailing by nine at the half, 28-19, the Broncos crashed the boards winning the second by a 26-16 margin and 45-44 in the game. Boise State had 24 offensive boards in the game against the WAC’s top rebounding team resulting in a 17-11 edge in second chance points. The Broncos also took advantage of 21 Lady Techster turnovers out scoring the visitors 26-12 in points off turnovers. Boise State was led by Jessica Thompson with 20 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and five steals. She was followed by Jackie Lee with 13 points and Jamia Malone with 11. La Tech was led by JoKeirra Sneed’s double-double on 19 points and 15 rebounds. No one else reached double-figure points, while three finished with eight each: Shanavia Dowdell, Tarkeisha Wysinger, and Adrienne Johnson.
► Friday’s Game To Be Televised by 24/7
Friday’s game versus New Mexico State will be televised by cable station 24/7 (channel 28). It is the first of two women’s basketball games scheduled to be televised this season, the other is March 7’s season finale against the University of Idaho. Channel 7’s (NBC) sports director David Augusto will call all the action with the play-by-play while Boise State alum Niki Gamez will provide color analyst.
► Radio Broadcasts
Boise State Radio carries every regular season and postseason game on the air beginning with a 15 minute pregame show. Boise State assistant sports information director Doug Link is in his 11th year as the voice of Boise State Women’s Basketball providing the play-by-play for each broadcast. To tune into the action go to KBSU AM-730 in Boise, KEZJ AM-1450 in Twin Falls, and KBSK FM-89.9 in McCall.
► Games on the Internet
Fans can log on to BroncoSports.com and watch all home games. By becoming a Bronco Vision premium subscription member, Boise State fans will receive access to live games, past games, seasonal highlights, special features and interviews that can only be seen by paying the membership price of $9.95 per month or $69.95 per year. Bronco Vision members will need a high speed internet connection. Live stats can be found at BroncoSports.com to follow the game on game tracker. In addition, all games can be heard live on Boise State Radio’s website at http://radio.boisestate.edu/listenonline.html.
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