What’s Happening This Week For The Broncos . . .
Boise State looks to bounce back following their first loss in over a month this past Saturday. This week two conference games are on the schedule beginning with a road trip to northern Idaho to face in-state rivals the Idaho Vandals at 8:00 p.m. (mountain) in Moscow. This will be the second meeting of the year between these two rivals. Boise State won the first meeting 11 days ago (Jan. 27) by 30 points, 85-55, in Boise. Following the Idaho game the Broncos will return home to host San Jose State in the first of two meetings this year. This home game will be played in Boise State’s Bronco Gym at 7:00 p.m. (mountain).
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 Happened Last Week For The Broncos . . .
Boise State split two home games last week defeating New Mexico State 77-59 on Thursday night before falling for the first time in league play to Louisiana Tech 79-63 last Saturday. The loss snapped a nine point win streak for the Broncos.
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 8-1 in league games to move to 17-5 on the year, the best start for the Broncos overall since the 1993-94 season opened 20-4. Boise State has won 14 of their last 16 games. In Boise State’s eight league wins to date their average margin of victory has been 18.4 points per game. The Broncos experienced their largest home crowd, sixth largest all-time, since the 1993-94 season with 4,518 last Saturday when they lost to Louisiana Tech. They enter this week ranked first in the conference standings one game ahead of Louisiana Tech at 7-2. Boise State features the top ranked scoring offense and defense in the WAC entering this week’s games.
Who To Watch For The Broncos . . .
Boise State has two players averaging double-figure points led by sophomore guard Jessica Thompson at 15 points per game (4th in WAC) to go with 4.0 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 2.3 steals (t-4th in WAC) per game. In 22 games she has recorded 18 games in double-figure points, seven with 20 plus points. Thompson is third in the conference for scoring during league competition at 17.2 points per game. Michelle Hessing, a senior center out of Boise, averages 11.7 points (15th in WAC), 5.0 rebounds, and 1.0 block (t-6th in WAC) per game through the season. Sophomore point guard Tasha Harris is third in scoring at 9.9 points per game to go with 3.7 rebounds, and a team high 2.6 assists per game. On the glass, sophomore Rebecca Kepilino leads the team with 5.9 rebounds (9th in WAC) per game, followed by seniors Hessing at 5.0 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 12 times this season going 11-1 in those contests. The Broncos enter the week with the WAC’s top ranked scoring offense averaging 69.6 points per game while shooting 40.6 percent (2nd in WAC) from the floor, 29.4 percent (5th in WAC) from beyond the arc, and 69.9 percent (4th in WAC) from the foul line. In league games they are averaging 72.1 points per game (1st in WAC). On the boards Boise State averages 39.7 rebounds per game ranking fourth in the WAC. They are a plus 9.1 (1st in WAC) in scoring margin, plus 3.5 (4th in WAC) in rebounding margin, and plus 3.6 (2nd in WAC) in turnover margin.
Defensively As A Team . . .
Defensively, Boise State features the top ranked scoring defense in the WAC allowing 60.5 points per game on the year. In league games they are second allowing 57.6 points per game. They have held their opponents to 39.6 percent (6th in WAC) shooting from the hardwood and 30.8 percent (5th in WAC) from long range. The Broncos possess the second ranked rebounding defense in the league holding opponents to 36.3 rebounds per game. Boise State forces 18.8 turnovers per game in comparison to their giving it away 15.2 times per game. Boise State is ranked first in the WAC and 32nd nationally (2/4/07 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 23: Idaho (5-16, WAC 2-8)
About The Boise State-Idaho Series . . .
Boise State holds a 32-26 edge in one of the oldest series for the Broncos. Wednesday’s meeting will be the second of the season and 59th of the series which dates back to March 5, 1971. Boise State won the first meeting of the year 85-55 on Jan. 27 in Boise. The two teams split last year’s series with the home team winning each time, Boise State won on Jan. 28, 2006 in Boise (67-54) while Idaho won the rematch in Moscow on March 3, 2006 (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’s Happened lately For The Vandals . . .
Idaho has split their last four games entering the week. Last week they won at San Jose State (72-64) on Thursday before falling at Fresno State (75-53) Saturday. The previous week they defeated New Mexico State 83-74 in triple-overtime in Moscow, then lost 85-55 at Boise State. They enter this week at 5-16 overall and 2-8 in WAC play tied for eighth place with San Jose State.
Who To Watch For Idaho . . .
The Vandals are led by three players in double-figure scoring, including the WAC’s leading scorer and leading candidate for the league’s Newcomer of the Year award in Katie Madison who averages 19.5 points per game along with a team high 9.2 rebounds (3rd in WAC). Liz Witte is second in scoring at 11.4 points per game followed by Sara Dennehy at 11.3 ppg.
Idaho As A Team . . .
Offensively, the Vandals average 63.7 points per game (5th in WAC) and allow 75.8 (9th in WAC). In their 10 league games they have scored 66.8 points per game (5th in WAC) while allowing 76.6 ppg (9th in WAC). Idaho is shooting 37.7 percent (7th in WAC) from the floor, they are ranked sixth in three-point percentage at 29.2 percent, and hit 71.4 percent (1st in WAC) from the foul line. On the glass, they are ranked 7th in rebounding offense grabbing 36 rebounds per game and are a -6.1 in rebound margin. They average 18.8 turnovers per game (4th 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 77-88. His collegiate head coaching record is 387-210 all-time in 20 seasons. This year’s Vandals team was forecast to place eight by both the WAC’s coaches and media.
SCOUTING GAME 24: San Jose State (3-21, WAC 2-8)
About The Bronco-Spartan Series . . .
Saturday’s encounter will be the 12th meeting in the series which San Jose State leads 9-2 all-time. Last year the Spartans won both games by an average of 5 points. San Jose State won the first encounter (Jan. 19) in California 63-57 then followed up with a 69-64 win in Boise on Feb. 1.
A Bronco Connection To San Jose State . . .
Boise State alum Abby Vaughan is in her first season as an assistant coach with San Jose State. Vaughan played shooting guard for the Broncos from 1999 to 2003 and finished as the all-time record holder for three-pointers made in a career with 260. She graduated from Boise State in 2003.
What Has Happened Lately For San Jose State . . .
The Spartans have split their last four games and enter the week at 3-21 overall and 2-8 in league play tied with Idaho for eighth place. Last week they split two home games losing to Idaho (72-64) on Thursday then rebounded against Utah State on Saturday to win 65-57. During the previous week they stunned Hawaii 57-56 in San Jose State then lost at New Mexico State (79-53).
Who To Watch For The Spartans . . .
San Jose State has two active players that average double-figure points on the year. Natalie White leads at 12.1 points (12th in WAC) per game to go with 3.3 rebounds, followed by Brittany Powell at 10.9 points and a team high 5.7 rebounds (11th in WAC) per game.
San Jose State As A Team . . .
Offensively, the Spartans average a league low 57.3 points per game while shooting 35.5 percent (9th in WAC) from the court, 24.5 percent (9th in WAC) from the three-point arc, and 65.7 percent (7th in WAC) from the foul line. Defensively, San Jose State allows 69.3 points per game (8th in WAC), while teams have shot 39.2 percent (4th in WAC) from the floor and 26.3 percent (1st in WAC) from behind the arc.
More About San Jose State . . .
San Jose State returned one starter and seven letterwinners from last year’s 13-15 squad that went 8-8 in league play to finish tied for fourth. Currently, Derrick Allen is serving as the San Jose State interim head coach taking over the program Dec. 2. This year’s Spartan team was picked to place sixth in the 2006-07 conference race by both the league’s coaches and media.