Broncos Start Second Half of WAC Season at New Mexico State on Saturday ...

► What’s Happening
Boise State University’s women’s basketball team opens the second half of Western Athletic Conference play at New Mexico State University on Saturday. The contest is the first of a doubleheader in the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, N.M., tip for the women’s game is scheduled for 4:00 p.m.  Both teams are 14-8 overall and in the middle of a five-team pack in the conference standings with NMSU sitting in fourth place with a 4-4 league mark and Boise State in a four-way tie for fifth at 3-5. 

This game marks the start of the second half of league play. In the first encounter between the Aggies and Broncos, NMSU rallied late in regulation to defeat Boise State by four, 87-83, in overtime to claim their first ever victory in Boise.   

Both teams played on the road this past Wednesday with the Broncos dropping a 75-53 decision at La Tech while the Aggies ran past San Jose State for a decisive 68-48. 

The game features Boise State’s third-ranked offense averaging 71 points per game and seventh-ranked scoring defense that allows 67.4, versus NMSU’s fourth-ranked offense averaging 69.8 points per game and fifth-ranked defense that is holding opponents to 65.1. It will pit Boise State’s Tasha Harris (16.3 ppg) and Jessica Van Hoogen (14.9 ppg) ranked third and fifth (tied) respectively against New Mexico State’s duo of Crystal Boyd (14.9 ppg) and Jasmine Lowe (14.7 ppg) ranked tied for fifth and sixth in the league. 

► Follow the Broncos on the Road: Radio and Internet Broadcasts
Boise State Radio carries every regular season and postseason game on the air beginning with a 15 minute pregame show.  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. In addition, all games can be heard live on Boise State Radio’s website at 

Scouting Game #23

(Note: WAC rankings are as of 2/5/2010 and national rankings are as of 1/31/2010)

Looking at Boise State

► The Broncos
Boise State enters the game at 14-8 overall and 3-5 in conference tied for fifth place in the standings. Boise State has been solid at home this year going 9-1, however, the road has been a different story. Boise State opened the year 4-0 on the road before dropping its last seven road games and is now 4-7 away from Boise.  They returned two starters and five letterwinners from the 2008-09 campaign that saw the Broncos go 16-15 overall and 9-7 in conference tying for fifth place.

► What’s Happened Recently
Boise State lost 75-53 this past Wednesday at Louisiana Tech. Prior to that the Broncos came from behind to defeat Utah State 70-63 in Boise last Saturday, Jan. 30. The Broncos opened WAC play by losing the opener 87-83 in overtime to New Mexico State (Jan. 6) followed by a disappointing 64-52 defeat at Nevada (Jan. 9) and a second overtime loss on Jan. 16 at Idaho by the score of 84-81. Boise State had chances to win all three but lost them down the stretch.  Since then Boise State has won three of the last five contests including a home sweep of San Jose State 75-53 on Jan. 20 and Hawaii 73-64 on Jan. 23. 

La Tech Game Short Recap -  It was one of those nights where nothing went right for the Broncos as Boise State dropped a 22-point decision at Louisiana Tech Wednesday night in Ruston, La. Boise State was a step slow all night and dug itself a deep hole by halftime as the visitors could not get their shots to fall from anywhere on the floor. The Broncos were down 17, 38-21, at the break then watched as the Lady Techsters extended the deficit to 20 points early in the second period. The Broncos attempted to rally midway through the final half pulling to within 11 points, 50-39, with 12:51 remaining. But that was as close as they would get as the Lady Techsters ran away for the win, their first in four years over Boise State in the Thomas Assembly Center. Freshman Kinzi Poteet led the Broncos with a career-high 11 points to go with six rebounds and one block. Junior Janie Bos followed with 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, one block and one steal. No one else hit double-digit scoring for the Boise State.

Utah State Game Short Recap - Boise State rallied from six points down with 8:50 remaining to defeat Utah State 70-63 in Boise. Rebecca Kepilino scored a season-high 17 points, 10 in the second half, to lead the Broncos to the come from behind victory. The game was close throughout the 40 minutes of action in a contest that saw seven ties and 10 leads changes.  The game was one of swings as the Broncos opened a game-high 10-point, 44-34, lead by the 17:13 mark on the second period. Utah State battled back erasing the 10-point deficit with a 20 to six run that saw them go up a Utah State game-high six points, 56-50, with 8:50 remaining. After surrendering the 10-point and down six, the Broncos rallied. Melissa Rima drained the second of two key 3-pointers from the left corner to give Boise State a 62-61 lead with 2:54 to go. Boise State finished the final two-plus minutes out scoring Utah State 8-0 down the stretch. Tasha Harris scored six of the final points with two jumpers and two free throws.

► Who to Watch  
Tasha Harris - The senior point-guard leads the team in scoring at 16.3 points (3rd in WAC, 87th nationally), 5.9 rebounds (12th in WAC), and a WAC third-best 3.1 assists. Harris ranks second all-time in career points at Boise State with 1,625 and first in career free throws made (443) and attempted (601). She is ranked first in the WAC for free throw percentage in league games at 85.4.
Jessica Van Hoogen - The senior shooting-guard averages 14.9 points (t-5th in WAC) and 4.0 rebound per game. She ranks third in career points at Boise State with 1,536.
Janie Bos - The junior center is third on the team in scoring at 8.4 points to go with a team-high 6.2 rebounds (9th in WAC) per game.
Rebecca Kepilino - The senior forward is fourth in scoring at 7.1 points while adding 4.8 boards. She has recorded double-figure points in four of the last five games.

► As a Team
Offensively, the Broncos average 71.0 points per game (3rd in WAC, 39th nationally) while shooting 39.6 percent (6th in WAC) from the floor, 28.7 percent (9th in WAC) from the 3-point arc and 69.0 percent (5th in WAC) from the free-throw line. On the glass, Boise State ranks second in the WAC 42.4 rebounds per game and gives up 39.1 (t-8th in WAC), for a plus 3.3 in rebound margin (3rd in WAC).

Defensively, the Broncos allow 67.4 points per game (7th in WAC) and hold opponents to 39.6 percent (6th in WAC) shooting from the floor and 28.1 percent (2nd in WAC) from the arc. Boise State is a plus 1.5 in turnover margin (2nd in WAC) committing a average of 17.5 per game while forcing 19 per game.  Boise State is ranked 22nd nationally for steals per game at 11.1.

► The Head Coach
The Broncos are in their fifth year under the leadership of head coach Gordy Presnell. To date, he has gone 93-57 while at Boise State and is 489-181 in 22-plus seasons (2009-10 is his 23rd) as a collegiate head coach. He is 7-5 versus New Mexico State as Boise State’s head coach. 

Looking at New Mexico State

► The Aggies
New Mexico State enters the game at 14-8 overall and 4-4 in league good for fourth place. The Aggies are coming into Saturday’s game off a 68-48 road victory at San Jose State on Wednesday. Prior to that NMSU dropped a home game 65-60 to Nevada last Saturday.     

► Who to Watch
On the year New Mexico State has four players averaging double-figure points. Crystal Boyd leads the team in scoring and on the boards at 14.9 points (t-5th in WAC) and 7.9 rebounds (2nd in WAC) per game. Jasmie Lowe follows with 14.7 points (7th in WAC) and 4.0 rebounds, Madison Spence adds 11.6 points (12th in WAC) while Danisha Corbett contributes 10.0 ppg.       

► As a Team
The NMSU averages 69.8 points (4th in WAC) per game while allowing 65.1 points (5th in WAC). The Aggies shoot 40.4 percent (4th in WAC) from the floor, a WAC-best 36 percent from the 3-point arc, and 70.3 percent (2nd in WAC) from the free-throw line.

► The Head Coach
The Aggies are in their 8th year under Darin Spence as head coach where he is 91-112. He is 5-7 versus Boise State as the Aggies head coach. 

Looking at the Series

► Boise State Versus New Mexico State
Saturday’s encounter between the Aggies and Broncos will be the 22nd in the series with Boise State holding a 12-9 advantage. Earlier this year NMSU defeated Boise State for the first time in Idaho. Last year the Broncos swept the season series defeating the Aggies 63-48 in Boise followed by a hard fought 79-77 overtime win in Las Cruces. 

► Last Time They Met
BOISE, Idaho (1/6/2010) - Last time the Broncos were crushed by unforced mistakes as they turned the ball over 24 times resulting in 31 NMSU points. The Aggies rallied from eight down with 3:55 to play to force overtime where they outscored the Broncos 17-13 to claim the win. Tasha Harris led the Broncos with 23 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Jessica Van Hoogen with 15 points. Jasmine Lowe led NMSU with 26 points followed by Crystal Boyd with 23.

► Boise State Versus the WAC
Boise State is 64-70 all-time in WAC play. The Broncos are 115-101 all-time versus the current membership of the WAC and went 9-8 last year, including a first round loss at the WAC Tournament. 

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