Boise State Concludes Homestand with Utah State and Nevada...
► What’s Happening This Weekend
► About The Broncos
The Broncos enter the week at 14-11 overall and 7-4 in WAC play, good for a third-place tie in the conference standings with Louisiana Tech and Nevada. Boise State looks to regroup from a disappointing home split this past weekend when they defeated San Jose State 58-53 before losing to Fresno State 70-58 on Sunday. Prior to that the Broncos completed their first road sweep of the year with victories at New Mexico State (79-77 ot) and at Louisiana Tech (66-61).
► Scouting Game 26 Utah State on Friday (2/20/09)
Game 26 features the Utah State Aggies (11-12, 5-5 WAC) who are experiencing their best season since joining the league for the 2005-06 campaign. They had last weekend off and are coming off an upset 63-52 victory at Nevada their last time out on Feb. 8. They have played only one game in the last two weeks so should best rested and ready to play this weekend. The Aggies enter the week at 5-5 in league and find themselves in sixth place.
► Scouting Game 27 Nevada on Sunday (2/22/09)Game 27 features two of the three teams, Nevada and Boise State, tied for third place in the league standings entering the week. Nevada will host Idaho Thursday night, Feb. 19, prior to meeting the Broncos. The Wolf Pack defeated the Broncos 77-45 in the first encounter three weeks ago in Reno on Jan. 30. Nevada has the WAC’s third ranked scoring offense averaging 61.5 points per game and the fourth ranked defense allowing 60.7 each time out. Since opening 7-0 in league play the Wolf Pack have stumbled to four-consecutive defeats with home losses to Fresno State (63-60) and Utah State (63-52), followed by road defeats this past weekend at New Mexico State (54-51) and Louisiana Tech (77-59).
● The Head Coach - Nevada is in its first season under the direction of head coach Jane Albright who came to the school via Wichita State where she recorded a 48-95 five-year mark. Currently she is 13-11 overall at Nevada and 410-322 overall in 24 years as a collegiate head coach.
● As a Team - Entering this weekend, Nevada possesses the WAC’s third ranked scoring offense averaging 61.5 points per game while shooting 37.5 percent (7th WAC) from the floor, 29.1 percent (6th WAC) from the arc, and 66.7 percent (5th WAC) from the foul line. Defensively they allow 60.7 points per game (4th WAC) while opponents have shot 39 percent (5th WAC) from the court and 33percent (6th WAC) from behind the 3-point line. They are fourth in rebounding averaging 39.7 boards per game while opponents grab 38.1 per game (3rd WAC).
● Who to Watch - Senior guard Dellena Criner has been one of the premiere players in the WAC since arriving at Nevada, she leads the Wolf Pack in scoring at 14.8 points per game (2nd WAC) while adding 3.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists (1st WAC). Senior Brandi Jones (formerly known as Fitzgerald) is second in scoring at 8.9 points per game to go with 5.5 rebounds, while senior Cherlanda Franklin leads on the boards averaging 6.8 rebounds per game (5th WAC) in addition to 8.2 points.
● What’s Back From Last Year - The Wolf Pack returned the most experience in the league from last year with four starters and 10 letterwinners back from an 18-12 squad that went 9-7 in the WAC to place tied for fourth.
● Conference Preseason Polls - The league’s coaches and media picked Nevada to place fourth in this year’s WAC race.
● A Quick Look at the Series...
Sunday’s game will be the 38th edition of the Nevada-Boise State series which the Broncos have dominated holding a 28-9 all-time advantage. The Wolf Pack dominated the Broncos in the first meeting of 2009 by the score of 77-45 in Reno. Overall, the Broncos lead 10-5 in WAC regular season games, 16-3 in games played in Boise, 11-6 in games at Reno, and 1-0 in neutral site contests. Boise State swept the series last year winning 82-74 in Boise and 80-69 in Reno. These two programs have a long history together as members of four different leagues dating back to the old Mountain West Athletic Conference (1987-88), Big Sky Conference (1988-92), Big West Conference (1996-00), and most recently the WAC (2001-present).
● The Last Time The Wolf Pack and Broncos Met...
Reno, Nev. (1/30/09) - It was a game where everything went wrong for the visiting Boise State team as WAC leading Nevada defeated the Broncos by 32 points 77-45. Contributing to the Broncos frustration was poor shooting and 29 turnovers, many unforced, resulting in a Wolf Pack 32-11 advantage in points off turnovers.
After Boise State scored the first two points of the game on a pair of Heather Pilcher free throws, Nevada rolled off a 12-0 run and never looked back. With 9:19 to play in the first half, Nevada’s Megan Cherry nailed a 3-pointer to give the Wolf Pack a 25-14 lead, a double-figure advantage that they would not relinquish in the final 29 minutes of the game. They eventually stretched their advantage to a game-high 34 points twice late in the contest, the last coming at 77-43 with 2:09 remaining.
The Broncos shot 29.1 percent (16-55) from the floor, 15.4 percent (2-13) from the arc, and 73.3 percent (11-15) from the free-throw line. Nevada countered with 48.2 percent (27-56) shooting from the court, 44.4 percent (8-18) from the 3-point line, and 60 percent (15-25) from the foul line.
Marisa Stotler was the lone Bronco in double-figure scoring with 12 points to go with five rebounds, one assist, and three steals. Jenna Galassi was second in scoring with seven points, four rebounds, two assists, one block, and two steals. No one else scored more than six points.
Dellena Criner led Nevada with 20 points, six rebounds, three assists, and four steals, followed by Johnna Ward with 14 points, and Brandi Jones with 11. Cherlanda Franklin led on the glass with a team-best nine rebounds to go with nine points.
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