Bronco women roll past San Jose State 82-59, stretch WAC lead to two games at 10-1...
BOISE, Idaho - (2-10-07) - The Boise State Broncos slowly gathered steam then rolled past the San Jose State Spartans 82-59 in a Western Athletic Conference game in front of 1,123 fans at Bronco Gym in Boise. Nadia Begay led the Broncos by tying her career high for three-pointers with five on her way to scoring a season high 25 points against the Spartans. The win combined with Hawaii’s 60-59 upset of Louisiana Tech in Ruston tonight gives Boise State a two-game lead in the conference standings at 10-1.
Boise State opened the game slow but managed to take an early 7-6 lead three minutes into the game hitting three of their first four shots. However, San Jose State controlled the next four minutes of the game running out to a six-point lead, 13-7, with 13:37 left in the period. That was when the floor began to fall out from underneath the Spartans as they would hit only three of their final 17 field goal attempts in the half.
Boise State rallied to tie the score at 16 all at the 11:42 mark on three consecutive treys, two by Begay and one from Jackie Lee. Unfortunately, neither team shot the ball well in the next two and a half minutes even though San Jose State managed to regain a small lead of four points, 22-18, with 9:16 to go in the half behind four converted free throws by Natalie White and Brittany Powell.
That is when the Broncos caught their steam and began to roll past the Spartans. Down four points, Boise State ran off a 18-4 run to claimed control of the contest with a 10-point, 36-26, lead with 3:20 left in the half. The Broncos stretched their advantage to 12 points with 1:40 to play before settling for a 11-point, 41-30, halftime lead. While Boise State rolled off 25 points in the final 12 minutes of the half, San Jose State managed only 14, primarily from the free throw line, in the same time span to close the period.
Begay recorded 11 of her team high 25 points in the first half to lead the Broncos, while Alisha Hicks led San Jose State with 12 points in the opening 20 minutes. Boise State shot 46.4 percent from the floor, 40 percent (6-of-15) from behind the arc, and 64.3 percent from the free throw line in the first half. Over half, 15-of-28, first half field goal attempts for Boise State were three-pointers. San Jose State hit 35.4 percent from the court, 25 percent from behind the arc, and 66.7 percent from the charity stripe in the opening period.
The second half was all Boise State as they stretched their lead to 21 points a little more than three minutes into the period at 53-32. The Broncos opened the half going on a 15-to-four run to take a 56-34 lead with 15:58 showing on the clock. Boise State picked up the tempo of the game forcing the undermanned Spartans, they dressed only eight players, to run with the Broncos.
San Jose State attempted to rally twice, cutting the Boise State advantage to 15 points, 64-49, with 8:26 to go. Then after the Broncos pulled back out to a 22-point, 71-49, lead with 7:34 remaining, the Spartans closed again. This time San Jose State cut the lead to 14 points at 71-57 with just under five minutes to play. However, that was as close as they would get as Boise State responded with a 11-to-two run to close the game.
In the second half the Broncos protected the ball much better than in the first when they turned it over 11 times resulting in a 10-to-eight edge for San Jose State in points off turnovers. The final 20 minutes saw Boise State give it away only four times compared to 13 for the Spartans leading to a 17-to-two advantage for the Broncos in the half on points off turnovers and a 25-to-12 difference in the game. Boise State leads the conference and is ranked 32nd nationally for fewest turnovers per game at 15.2 entering the game, they finished the game right at their average with 15.
Begay finished the game with a season and team high 25 points to go with two rebounds, two assists, and one steal, in addition to hitting five-of-seven three-point attempts. Jackie Lee was second with 13 points to go with five rebounds and three assists, while Michelle Hessing recorded her first double-double of the season on 12 points and 11 rebounds. Tasha Harris finished with nine points, five rebounds, and a team high four assists. San Jose State was paced by Alisha Hicks with 20 points and five rebounds, while Natalie White contributed 15 points and five boards. Brittany Powell had a team high 12 rebounds followed by eight from Amber Hall.
Boise State ended the game hitting 43.8 percent from the floor, 40.9 percent (9-of-22) from beyond the arc, and 63 percent (17-of-27) from the foul line. San Jose State converted 35.1 percent from the hardwood, 31.3 percent (5-of-16) from behind the three-point line, and 73.7 percent (14-of-19) from the free throw stripe. Boise State edge San Jose State on the glass 42-to-41 but held a 13-to-six advantage in second chance points.
The win improves Boise State to 19-5 overall and 10-1 in conference play. Meanwhile, San Jose State goes to 3-23 on the season and 2-10 in league action. The Broncos received some help this evening from other results around the conference as Hawaii defeated Louisiana Tech 60-59 in Ruston, Louisiana and New Mexico State defeated Fresno State 67-63 in Las Cruces, New Mexico to give Boise State a little breathing room at the top. The Broncos are still in first place in the standings with five games left in the regular season, but now have a two-game lead over second place Louisiana Tech (8-3) and a four-game lead over Nevada and Fresno State tied for third place at 6-4. Next up, Boise State begins a three-game road swing at Fresno State this coming Saturday as they shoot for a 20-win season (only the fourth all-time), followed by games at San Jose State (Feb. 22) and Nevada (Feb. 24) in two weeks. The Broncos will close the regular season at home in three weeks when they host Fresno State on March 1 and Hawaii on March 3 in the season finale.
Newspaper Box Score
BOISE STATE 82, SAN JOSE STATE 59
SAN JOSE STATE (3-23, WAC 2-10)
BOISE STATE (19-5, WAC 10-1)
San Jose State................ 30 29 - 59
3-point goals--San Jose State 5-16 (Hicks, Alisha 3-6; White, Natalie 1-3;
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