BOISE, Idaho - (2/1/2007) - The Boise State Broncos completed the season sweep of the New Mexico State Aggies tonight with a hard fought 77-59 win at Taco Bell Arena in Boise. The rematch resembled the first encounter in Las Cruces on January 11 with the contest remaining close for the first seven to eight minutes before the Broncos stepped on the gas and pulled away from the Aggies. Senior center Michelle Hessing powered the Broncos to the victory with a career high 25 points as Boise State remains on top the Western Athletic Conference with an undefeated mark of 8-0 and a date with five-time defending WAC champion Louisiana Tech looming Saturday night in Boise.
Neither team shot the ball impressively during the opening half as they traded three leads and two ties in the opening seven minutes. Down by one, 14-13, with 13:24 to go in the first, Boise State rolled off a 18-3 run in the next seven and half minutes to claim a 31-17 advantage with a little under six minutes to play. Eventually, the Broncos took a 10-point, 32-22, lead into the intermission shooting an average 38.7 percent from the floor compared to 36.4 percent for the Aggies. Hessing recorded 10 of her points during the first period to lead Boise State in scoring through the first 20 minutes, while New Mexico State was led by Anikia Jawara with eight.
Down by 10 at the half, New Mexico State made an early run in the second to close the gap to six points twice with the last coming on a Anikia Jawara jumper from the free throw line to make the score 38-32 with 15:51 left in the game. Boise State responded with a 15-2 run, six points by Rebecca Kepilino, to reclaim a double-digit lead for good at 53-34, the largest lead of the night at 19 points, with 9:45 showing on the clock.
The game turned ugly in the final ten minutes as the teams became sloppy with the ball turning it over frequently. New Mexico State made a late attempt to rally pulling to within 11 points twice, the first on a Monique Bribiescas three-pointer with 4:42 to go to make the score 62-51. Following two Jessica Thompson free throws to extend the Bronco lead out to 13 points, 64-51, Sherell Neal made a layup to pull back with 11 at 64-53. Boise State then out scored the Aggies 13 to six to finish the game off.
Hessing added five rebounds, one assists, and one steal to her career high 25 points to lead the Broncos. Sophomore Rebecca Kepilino completed her second double-double in the last three games with 11 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Jackie Lee with 10 points and four rebounds, Nadia Begay with eight points and two rebounds, while Jessica Thompson’s streak of ten consecutive games in double-figure points came to a end on seven points to go with her team high four steals.
Anikia Jawara finished a solid night with team highs for points and rebounds with 21 and seven respectively to lead New Mexico State. Sherell Neal, the WAC’s number two scorer on the season, was in foul trouble most of the night and fouled out with two minutes to go with 15 points and five rebounds.
On the night, Boise State shot 41.7 percent (25-of-60) from the floor, 38.5 percent (5-of-13) from behind the arc, and 68.8 percent (22-of-32) from the foul line. New Mexico State finished shooting 42.3 percent (22-of-52) from the court, 22.2 percent (4-of-18) from three-point range, and 68.8 percent (11-of-16) from the charity stripe.
The victory moves the Broncos to 17-4 overall and 8-0 in WAC play, keeping them in sole possession of first place. However, Boise State is now up by two games over second place Nevada and Louisiana Tech who are both 6-2 following the Lady Techsters 73-62 win tonight in Reno over the Nevada Wolf Pack. New Mexico State falls to 9-11 overall and 4-4 in league action. Next up for Boise State is Louisiana Tech Saturday night in Taco Bell Arena at 7:00 p.m. Saturday is DOLLAR NIGHT for the Broncos as everyone gains admission to the game for one dollar all ages, Boise State students are free with activity card.
Newspaper Box Score
New Mexico State vs Boise State
02/01/07 7:00 p.m. at Boise, Idaho (Taco Bell Arena)
BOISE STATE 77, NEW MEXICO STATE 59
NEW MEXICO STATE (9-11, WAC 4-4)
Jawara, Anikia 7-15 7-12 21; Neal, Sherell 7-11 1-1 15; Walton, Tyshae 3-5
1-1 7; Russell-Nava, Cecili 2-11 0-0 6; Bribiescas, Monique 2-5 0-0 5;
Spanich, Hannah 1-4 2-2 5; Holt, Niki 0-1 0-0 0; Joy, Janel 0-0 0-0 0;
Henry, Kayla 0-0 0-0 0; Ward, Holli 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-52 11-16 59.
BOISE STATE (17-4, WAC 8-0)
Hessing, Michelle 9-13 6-8 25; Kepilino, Rebecca 3-10 5-8 11; Lee, Jackie
2-6 5-7 10; Begay, Nadia 3-7 0-0 8; Thompson, Jessica 2-7 2-2 7; Harris,
Tasha 1-6 4-7 6; Stewart, Amanda 2-3 0-0 4; Galassi, Jenna 2-6 0-0 4;
Walker, Ja'Lara 1-2 0-0 2; Reyes, Bridgette 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-60 22-32
New Mexico State.............. 22 37 - 59
Boise State................... 32 45 - 77
3-point goals--New Mexico State 4-18 (Russell-Nava, Cecili 2-10; Spanich,
Hannah 1-3; Bribiescas, Monique 1-4; Neal, Sherell 0-1), Boise State 5-13
(Begay, Nadia 2-5; Hessing, Michelle 1-1; Lee, Jackie 1-4; Thompson, Jessica
1-2; Harris, Tasha 0-1). Fouled out--New Mexico State-Jawara, Anikia; Neal,
Sherell, Boise State-None. Rebounds--New Mexico State 29 (Jawara, Anikia 7),
Boise State 40 (Kepilino, Rebecca 10). Assists--New Mexico State 6
(Russell-Nava, Cecili 2; Jawara, Anikia 2), Boise State 13 (Harris, Tasha 4;
Kepilino, Rebecca 4). Total fouls--New Mexico State 28, Boise State 19.
Technical fouls--New Mexico State-None, Boise State-None. A-1045