What’s Happening This Week For The Broncos . . .
Boise State (16-4, 7-0 WAC) hosts two of the league’s more athletic teams this week in New Mexico State (9-10, WAC 4-3) on Thursday night and five-time defending WAC champion Louisiana Tech (10-10, WAC 5-2) Saturday night, both games will tip-off at approximately 7:05 p.m. in Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos are currently ranked first in the WAC standings three games ahead of fourth place (tied) New Mexico State and two up on third place Louisiana Tech. Boise State swept the first encounters with these two schools on the road defeating the NMSU Aggies 66-52 on Jan. 11 followed by a 68-47 win over the Lady Techsters in Ruston on Jan. 13.
Saturday Is "DOLLAR NIGHT" When Boise State Hosts Five-Time Defending WAC Champion Louisiana Tech . . .
Following Thursday night’s home game with New Mexico State, Boise State will host the WAC’s five-time defending champion Louisiana Tech on Saturday (Feb. 3) at Taco Bell Arena, tip-off is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to come out and support the Broncos as they face one of their biggest challenges of the season in their quest for the WAC’s regular season conference title. Admission will be one dollar per person, all ages (BSU students are free with valid activity card) as Boise State attempts to pack the arena in support of the women’s basketball team against the Lady Techsters. Louisiana Tech is one of the NCAA’s most successful programs in history advancing to all 25 NCAA tournaments. The Broncos pulled off one of their biggest wins in program history on January 13 of this year when they defeated the Lady Techsters 68-47 in the first meeting between the two schools in Ruston. That win snapped Louisiana Tech’s national leading conference home win-streak that stood at 114 consecutive victories and stretched 15 years between home league defeats. Bring your friends, be loud, and wear ORANGE to the Louisiana Tech game this Saturday. All tickets will be sold at the gate the day of the game for one dollar each ($1.00).
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.
Boise State’s Jess Thompson named WAC Women’s Basketball 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. 29. This is the second WAC Player of the Week honor for the sophomore this season and the fourth for the Broncos this year. Thompson’s first honor was just two weeks ago on January 15 following the Broncos’ sweep of New Mexico State and Louisiana Tech on the road.
Thompson, a guard from Temecula, Calif. (Temecula Valley), led Boise State to a sweep of last week’s games, an 80-38 win over Utah State on Thursday and an 85-55 victory over Idaho on Saturday, as the Broncos remain on top of the WAC standings with an undefeated 7-0 mark. During the week, the sophomore guard shot an impressive 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from the hardwood, hit 33.3 percent (1-of-3) from beyond the arc and 100 percent (2-of-2) from the free throw line. The guard also averaged 7.5 rebounds (5.0 offensive boards per game) in 22.5 minutes of action per game.
What Last Week For The Broncos . . .
Boise State swept two home games last week defeating Utah State and Idaho by and average of 36 points in each contest. The Broncos crushed the USU Aggies 80-38 on Thursday then followed up with an impressive 85-55 victory over arch-rival Idaho Saturday night to clinch their first winning season since the 1997-98 campaign.
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 7-0 in league games to move to 16-4 on the year, the best start for the Broncos overall since the 1993-94 season opened 20-4. Boise State has won 13 of their last 14 games and currently own an eight game win streak, their longest winning streak in 13 years since the 1993-94 team won nine straight. In Boise State’s seven league wins to date their average margin of victory has been 18.4 points per game. The Broncos experienced their largest home crowd since joining the WAC six years ago this past Saturday night against Idaho when 1,851 fans showed up for the game. They enter this week ranked first in the conference standings one game ahead of Nevada who is at 6-1. 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 15.3 points per game (3rd in WAC) to go with 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 2.2 steals (5th in WAC) per game. In 20 games she has recorded 17 games in double-figure points, seven with 20 plus points. Thompson leads the conference in scoring during league competition at 18.7 points per game. Michelle Hessing, a senior center out of Boise, averages 11.1 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks (6th in WAC) per game through the season. Sophomore point guard Tasha Harris is third in scoring at 10.0 points per game to go with 3.6 rebounds, and a team high 2.5 assists per game. On the glass, sophomore Rebecca Kepilino leads the team with 5.7 rebounds (11th in WAC) per game, followed by seniors Hessing at 4.9 and Jackie Thompson at 4.7 per game each.
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 11 times this season going 10-1 in those contests. The Broncos enter the game with the WAC’s top ranked scoring offense averaging 69.6 points per game while shooting 40.9 percent (1st in WAC) from the floor, 30.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 69.9 percent from the foul line to rank fourth in the league. In league games they are averaging 72.7 points per game (1st in WAC). On the boards Boise State averages 40 rebounds per game ranking tied for third in the WAC. They are a plus 9.9 (1st in WAC) in scoring margin, plus 3.8 (2nd in WAC) in rebounding margin, and plus 3.4 (2nd in WAC) in turnover margin.
Defensively As A Team . . .
Defensively, Boise State features the top ranked scoring defense in the WAC allowing 59.7 points per game on the year. In league games they are also number one allowing 54.3 points per game. They have held their opponents to 39 percent (4th in WAC) shooting from the hardwood and 30.5 percent (5th in WAC) from long range. The Broncos possess the top ranked (tied) rebounding defense in the league holding opponents to 36.2 rebounds per game. Boise State forces 18.6 turnovers per game in comparison to their giving it away 15.2 times per game. Boise State is ranked first in the WAC and 30th nationally (1/28/07 last national rankings released) for fewest turnovers per game. They also lead the WAC in assist/turnover ratio at 0.84.
SCOUTING GAME 21: New Mexico State (7-7, WAC 2-0)
About The Bronco-Aggie Series . . .
Boise State and New Mexico State have been members together of two different conferences going back to the Big West Conference from 1996-2000. The Aggies moved to the Sun Belt Conference in 2000-01 while the Broncos left for the WAC in 2001-02. Last year the Aggies joined the WAC rekindling the rivalry. Thursday’s game will be the 14th in the series which Boise State currently leads 7-6 following this year’s 66-52 victory over the Aggies on Jan. 11 in Las Cruces (game recap and box on page 5). The two met three times last season with the home team winning in the regular season contests, NMSU won 61-60 in overtime in Las Cruces and Boise State won 72-45 in Boise. However, the rubber match in the WAC semifinals went to the Aggies by one point, 60-59, in Reno, Nevada. The Broncos have never lost, going 5-0, in Boise to New Mexico State.
What Has Happened Lately For New Mexico State . . .
The Aggies have gone 4-3 in conference action including a split last week losing in triple-overtime 83-74 at Idaho then rebounded with a 79-53 home victory over San Jose State. Overall, NMSU is 9-10 on the year while their 4-3 league record has them tied with Fresno State for fourth place in the league standings.
Who To Watch For New Mexico State . . .
The Aggies are led by three players in double-figure scoring. Sherell Neal leads the team in scoring at 15.4 points (6th in WAC) and leads the WAC on the boards at 9.6 rebounds per game. Anikia Jawara is second on the team in scoring and rebounding at 13.1 points 7.2 rebounds (4th in WAC) per game, followed by Cecilia Russell-Nava with 12.2 points and 2.5 rebounds per contest. In league games, Jawara averages 16.7 points (5th in WAC) and 8.6 boards (4th in WAC) per game, while Neal adds 15.4 points (6th in WAC) and 11.0 rebounds (1st in WAC).
New Mexico State As A Team . . .
Offensively, the Aggies average 61.9 points per game (7th in WAC) shooting 37.6 percent from the floor, 31.9 percent (2nd in WAC) from beyond the arc, and 66.1 percent from the charity stripe. Defensively, they are giving up 64.4 points per game (4th in WAC) while holding opponents to 38.2 percent (2nd in WAC) from the floor and 32.8 percent from three-point range. On the glass, the Aggies average 38.5 rebounds per game (5th in WAC).
More About New Mexico State . . .
The Aggies returned three starters and five letterwinners from last year’s 10-20 squad that went 5-11 in league play to place tied for seventh in the standings. Darin Spence is in his fourth season at New Mexico State where he has gone 41-65 overall. This year’s New Mexico State team was picked to place seventh again by both the conference’s coaches and media.
SCOUTING GAME 22: Louisiana Tech (10-10, WAC 5-2)
About The Bronco-Lady Techster Series . . .
Louisiana Tech has dominated the series to date holding a solid 13-2 advantage in the series which began when both schools joined the WAC for the 2001-02 season. The Lady Techsters swept both games last year winning 75-61 in Ruston then 72-59 in Boise. However, the Broncos won the first encounter this year 68-47 in Ruston on Jan. 13. That win snapped the Lady Techsters’ 114-game and 15 year win streak in home conference games.
What Has Happened Lately For Louisiana Tech . . .
Louisiana Tech has gone 5-2 in league play and are currently in sole possession of third place in the WAC standings. They have won three of their last four games including a dominating 78-40 victory over Fresno State in Ruston last Saturday in their lone game of the week.
Who To Watch For Louisiana Tech . . .
The Lady Techsters are led by Ty Moore averaging team highs for points and rebounds at 12.6 points (10th in WAC) and 9.6 boards (2nd in WAC) per game. Shan Moore is second averaging 11.6 points and 3.4 rebounds per game. Both were All-WAC second team honorees in 2006.
Louisiana Tech As A Team . . .
Offensively, Louisiana Tech features the third ranked scoring offense in the league averaging 64.5 points per game. They have shot 38.7 percent (4th in WAC) from the floor, a league best 32.5 percent from behind the three-point line, and 62.6 percent from the foul line. Defensively, the Lady Techsters have the second ranked scoring defense in the league allowing 60.9 points per game, while holding their opponents to 37.4 percent (1st in WAC) from the hardwood and 28.4 percent (3rd in WAC) from behind the arc. They lead the WAC in offensive rebounding grabbing a conference high 42.3 boards per game while allowing 38.9 per game (5th in WAC).
More About Louisiana Tech . . .
Louisiana Tech is one of the traditional powers in women’s basketball nationally. They have won five straight WAC titles since joining the league in 2001-02. The Lady Techsters return three starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s team that won the conference going 15-1 in league and 26-5 overall. They advanced to the NCAA tournament as the WAC’s representatives in 2006. Chris Long is in his second year as head coach at Louisiana Tech where he has a 36-15 overall record. The Lady Techsters were picked to repeat as WAC champions by both the league’s coaches and media.