Broncos Host Utah State For Play4Kay
Feb. 9, 2018

Boise State (14-9, 8-4 MW) vs. Utah State (5-18, 3-9 MW)
Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018
Boise, Idaho - Taco Bell Arena

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BOISE, Idaho - Boise State (14-9, 8-4 MW) looks to finish a sweep of its two-game homestand Saturday at 2 p.m. as it hosts Utah State (5-18, 3-9 MW). The Broncos play twice on the road next week, opening Wednesday (Feb. 14) at Nevada before traveling to Air Force for a 2 p.m. tip Saturday (Feb. 17).

The first 200 Bronco fans in Taco Bell Arena will receive a free pink Bronco t-shirt.

Boise State put together one of its gutsiest efforts of the season in Wednesday night's 91-85 victory over New Mexico.

Facing a team that had put 100 up against it a month earlier, and with a spot in the Mountain West top 5 on the line, Boise State fought back from a nine-point, second-quarter deficit, led by career nights from Marta Hermida (26 points, four assists, 7-for-8 FT) and A'Shanti Coleman (15 points, eight rebounds), for the win.

Riley Lupfer posted her sixth 20-point game of conference play, finishing right at 20 on 7-for-13 shooting, while Shalen Shaw added 12 points, five rebounds, and four assists.

In a game that featured nine ties and 18 lead changes, the Broncos went 11-for-12 from the line in the fourth quarter to beat back every New Mexico comeback attempt.

Boise State closes its week at home Saturday with a 2 p.m. tip against Utah State (5-18, 3-9 MW).

The Aggies have dropped five of six entering Saturday's contest, most recently falling at home against Wyoming, 64-46, Wednesday. Utah State is led by the play of Olivia West (12.1 ppg) and Rachel Brewster (9.6 ppg).

Boise State will go for the season sweep over the Aggies Saturday, as the Broncos beat Utah State, 64-42, in Logan back on Jan. 17.

Junior guard Marta Hermida was clutch for the Broncos Wednesday night, not only because she scored a career-high 26 points and went 9-for-15 from the field, but also due to her fourth-quarter performance in which she scored 13 points and went 7-for-8 from the line in the final minute.

With the Broncos leading the Lobos, 82-77, with 1:38 to play, Hermida took over, hitting a jumper with 1:09 to go to start a game-ending stretch in which she scored Boise State's final nine points. As New Mexico continued to inch closer, Hermida was nails from the line, going 7-for-8 to keep the Bronco lead safe.

Redshirt sophomore A'Shanti Coleman got the first start of her Bronco career Wednesday night, and she did not disappoint, scoring a career-high 15 points and matching her career best with eight rebounds in the Boise State win.

Coleman, a transfer from Arizona who had to sit out the 2016-17 season due to NCAA rules, had averaged over six points a game coming off the bench for the Broncos over the previous 22 games of the season. Wednesday night, in her first start, Coleman continued to spark the Bronco offense, going 5-for-9 from the field, and 5-of-6 from the line over 33 minutes.

For the year, Coleman is averaging 6.9 points and 3.9 rebounds a game while shooting 53.2 percent.

The Mountain West's top 3-point shooter, Riley Lupfer, struggled from behind the arc Wednesday, going just 2-for-8. But, Lupfer didn't let that deter her from being a gamechanger for the Broncos, as she made deadly use of her mid-range game, going 5-for-5 on attempts inside the arc en route to a 20-point night.

Lupfer's adjustment also paid dividends late, as, with the Broncos up just four with 2:59 to play, she drove and drew contact on two-straight possessions, resulting in four made free throws which upped the Bronco lead to six at 82-76 and kept New Mexico at arm's length.

This year, while Lupfer is shooting 45.2 percent from 3-point range (85-for-188), she has been just as deadly inside the arc and at the line, shooting 51.7 percent (45-for-87) on 2-point shots, and 93.5 percent (29-for-31) from the line.

Another big reason for Boise State putting New Mexico away down the stretch was its accuracy at the free-throw line, as the Broncos shot 90.0 percent (18-for-20) in the contest, including 91.7 percent (11-for-12) in the fourth quarter.

Despite not going to the line for the entire first half, the Broncos aggressively attacked in the second half, converting the freebies. It all came to a head in the final minute, when Marta Hermida went 7-for-8 from the line to put away the Lobos.

Boise State got a key home win Wednesday over New Mexico, improving its mark at Taco Bell Arena this season to 8-5. The Broncos, 4-2 at home in Mountain West play, have begun playing better on a friendly court since going just 4-3 in non-conference play.

The five losses at home equal the most since the 2015-16 campaign, when Boise State went 10-5 at Taco Bell Arena. A sixth home loss would be the most in a season for the Broncos since going 7-8 in 2012-13.

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