What’s Happening This Week For The Broncos . . .
Boise State (14-4, 5-0 WAC) is home for the first time in three weeks as the Broncos prepare to host a four-game homestand in Taco Bell Arena. The action begins this Wednesday when the Utah State Aggies (7-10, WAC 3-2) come to town, followed by a battle for Gem State pride with arch-rival Idaho (3-14, WAC 0-6) Saturday night. Both games are scheduled to tip-off at 7:00 p.m. (mountain) in Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos are 6-1 overall and 1-0 in league play at home this season.
Location Change For Home Game Against San Jose State On Feb. 10 . . .
The San Jose State at Boise State game in Boise has been moved from Taco Bell Arena to Bronco Gym. Tip-off is still scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (mountain) and will run simultaneously with a WWE event in Taco Bell Arena.
What's Happened Lately For The Broncos . . .
At Hawaii (1-20-07): Boise State slowly pulled away from away in the first half taking a 13-point lead midway through the opening 20 minutes. Down by nine at the intermission, Hawaii fought back to within one point with 7:30 to go in the game. Boise State responded with a 10-3 run to take an eight-point lead with two minutes showing on the clock. The Broncos then hit five-of-seven free throws in the final minute to claim their first win ever in Hawaii over the Rainbows.
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.
(Note: all statistics listed in this release are for the entire season unless noted otherwise and are as of 1/22/07.)
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 5-0 in league games to move to 14-4 on the year, 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 Nevada at 5-1 and 1 games ahead of Fresno State at 4-1. Boise State’s 5-0 league mark includes four road wins, the most by the Broncos since joining the WAC for the 2001-02 season. The Broncos open the conference with four-of-five games on the road and will now host seven of their final 11 games to end the regular season. 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 14.9 points per game (4th in WAC) to go with 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.3 steals (4th in WAC) per game. In 18 games she has recorded 15 games in double-figure points, six with 20 plus points. Thompson leads the conference in scoring during league competition at 18.8 points per game. Michelle Hessing, a senior center out of Boise, averages 11.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.2 blocks (3rd 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 10.3 points per game to go with 3.6 rebounds, and a team high 2.6 assists per game. On the glass, sophomore Rebecca Kepilino leads the team with 5.1 rebounds per game, 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 week with the WAC’s second ranked scoring offense averaging 68.2 points per game while shooting 40.5 percent (2nd in WAC) from the floor, 30.3 percent (94-of-310) from beyond the arc, and 70.4 percent (261-of-371) from the foul line to rank fourth in the league. In league games they are averaging 68.8 points per game (3rd in WAC). On the boards Boise State averages 38.4 rebounds per game ranking fourth in the WAC. They are a plus 7.1 (1st in WAC) in scoring margin, plus 1.1 (4th in WAC) in rebounding margin, and plus 3.3 (2nd in WAC) in turnover margin.
Defensively As A Team . . .
Defensively, Boise State features the top ranked scoring defense in the WAC allowing 61.1 points per game on the year. In league games they are also number one allowing 57.4 points per game. They have held their opponents to 40 percent shooting from the hardwood and 32.2 percent from long range. The Broncos possess the third ranked rebounding defense in the league holding opponents to 37.3 rebounds per game. Boise State forces 18.9 turnovers per game in comparison to their giving it away 15.6 times per game. Boise State is ranked first in the WAC and 40th nationally (1/21/07 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 19: Utah State (7-10, WAC 3-2)
About The Boise State-Utah State Series . . .
Boise State holds a 10-2 advantage in the overall series, including a hard fought 80-70 win in Logan on January 4 in the league opener for both schools. The Broncos swept last year’s games winning 70-38 in Boise on Jan. 12 and 72-55 in Logan on Feb. 23. Last year was the first for Utah State as members of the WAC.
What Has Happened Lately For Utah State . . .
Utah State has been impressive in their first five league games going 3-2. Since their loss to Boise State they have gone 3-1 in WAC play with home wins over Fresno State (81-75 ot), Idaho (78-70), and San Jose State (58-50), along with a road loss at Louisiana Tech (69-54).
Who To Watch For Utah State . . .
The Aggies have two players averaging double-figure points led by Taylor Richards at 12.0 points per game (14th in WAC), followed by Brittany Phillips with 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. Vallivue High graduate Jenny Gross leads Utah State on the boards averaging 5.3 rebounds per game (14th in WAC) to go with her 9.4 point average.
Utah State As A Team . . .
Offensively, the Aggies average 60.7 points per game (7th in WAC) while shooting 38.2 percent (7th in WAC) from the floor, 28.3 percent (8th in WAC) from behind the arc, and 71.1 percent (tied for 1st in WAC) from the foul line. In league games they are averaging 68.2 points per game (4th in WAC). Defensively, Utah State allows 66.6 points per game (7th in WAC) on the season and 68.8 points per game in WAC contests (8th in WAC). On the year, the Aggies average 34.7 rebounds (9th in WAC) and 18.4 turnovers (3rd in WAC) per game.
More About Utah State . . .
Utah State is in their fourth year of women’s basketball since the sport was reinstated in 2003. The Aggies are in their second season as members of the WAC, joining the league along with Idaho and New Mexico State in 2005-06. Prior to that Utah State was a member of the Big West Conference. The Aggies return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s 3-24 squad that went 2-14 in league action placing 9th in the final standings. Raegan Pebley is in her fourth season at Utah State where she has gone 29-70 overall. The Aggies were picked to place ninth in this year’s WAC race by both the league’s coaches and media.
SCOUTING GAME 20: Idaho (3-14, WAC 0-6)
About The Boise State-Idaho Series . . .
Boise State holds a 31-26 edge in the second oldest series for the Broncos. Saturday’s meeting will be the first of the season and 58th of the all-time series which dates back to March 5, 1971. The Broncos defeated the Vandals 54-20 in the first meeting at the NCWSA Regional Tournament. The two teams split last year’s series with the home team winning each time, Boise State won on Jan. 28 in Boise (67-54) while Idaho won the rematch in Moscow on March 3 (72-59). These two schools have been in four different conferences together dating back to the early 1980’s when they were charter members of the old Mountain West Athletic Conference (MWAC) from 1982-88. The MWAC merged with the Big Sky in 1988 to form a men’s and women’s conference. The two schools then left for the Big West Conference in 1996 followed by Boise State’s move to the WAC in 2001 and Idaho’s arrival in the WAC last year (2005).
What Has Happened Lately For Idaho . . .
Idaho hosts New Mexico State on Wednesday before traveling to Boise for Saturday’s game. Idaho has struggled this season going 3-14 overall and 0-6 in league play to date. They have played better in recent weeks with their average point margin being -10.5. Last week they lost at Hawaii (71-61) followed by a home loss to Louisiana Tech (87-66) this past Sunday (Jan. 21).
Who To Watch For Idaho . . .
The Vandals are led by three players in double-figure scoring, including the WAC’s leading scorer in Katie Madison who averages 19.5 points per game along with a team high 9.3 rebounds (3rd in WAC). Liz Witte is second in scoring at 11.6 points per game followed by Sara Dennehy at 11.4 ppg. Jessica Summers is second on the boards behind Madison at 7.7 rebounds per game.
Idaho As A Team . . .
Offensively, the Vandals average 63.2 points per game (5th in WAC) and allow 76.1 (9th in WAC). In their six league games they have scored 67.5 points per game (5th in WAC) while allowing 78.0 ppg (9th in WAC). Idaho is shooting 38.8 percent (4th in WAC) from the floor, they are ranked first in three-point percentage at 32.1 percent, and hit 69.4 percent (5th in WAC) from the foul line. On the glass, they are ranked 8th in rebounding offense grabbing 35.1 rebounds per game and are a -4.2 in rebound margin. They average 19.7 turnovers per game (7th in WAC).
More About Idaho . . .
Idaho returned two starters and two letterwinners from last year’s 10-19 squad that went 5-11 in WAC play to place tied for seventh in the conference. Mike Divilbiss is in his sixth season at Idaho where he has gone 75-86. His collegiate head coaching record is 385-208 all-time in 20 seasons. This year’s Vandals team was forecast to place eight by both the WAC’s coaches and media.