Boise State Concludes Homestand with Utah State and Nevada...

► What’s Happening This Weekend
Boise State University’s (14-11, 7-4 WAC) WAC title defense continues with the final two of a four-game homestand. This week’s action begins with Boise State’s annual “Pack The House Night” Friday versus Utah State University (11-12, 5-5 WAC), tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (Mountain) in Taco Bell Arena. The homestand will conclude with a Sunday matinee against the University of Nevada (13-11, 7-4 WAC) at 2:00 p.m. in the Broncos “Pink Zone” day in recognition of breast cancer awareness.

Following last weekend’s home split the Broncos find themselves tied for third place one and a half games back of leader Fresno State. With five games remaining in the regular season each games gains added importance as Boise State battles for its third consecutive title and seeding into next month’s WAC tournament in Reno, Nev.  

●    Friday’s Game at 7:00 p.m.  -  “Pack The House Night” ...

The action begins Friday at 7:00 p.m. (Mountain) in Taco Bell Arena when Boise State hosts the Utah State Aggies in the return match following USU’s 58-44 victory over the Broncos on January 17 in Logan. It was the first time Utah State had defeated Boise State since December of 1978. Both teams are in contention for the league title in addition to tournament seeding being on the line.

Friday’s Promotion -  Friday is “Pack The House Night” and “Take A Kid to the Game Night” for the Broncos. For each paying adult, one child gets in free. In honor of the Idaho High School Girls’ Basketball State Championships being held in the Treasure Valley this weekend, all high school teams are invited to Friday’s contest.  They must fax a pass list to the Boise State Athletic Ticket Office by Thursday at 5pm to attend the game for free.  They can also take advantage of the “Take a Kid to the Game” promo mentioned above.

●    Sunday’s Game at 2:00 p.m.  -  “Pink Zone” ...
The weekend’s action concludes Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. (Mountain) in Taco Bell Arena when the Broncos host the University of Nevada.  This is the second meeting this year between these longtime rivals. The Wolf Pack won the first encounter of the season 77-45 in Reno on January 30.  Both teams enter the weekend tied with Louisiana Tech for third place in the league standings at 7-4. This game features the league third and fourth ranked scoring offenses in Nevada (61.5 ppg) and Boise State (61.4 ppg).

Sunday’s Promotion -  Sunday is “Pink Zone” sponsored by Komen for the Cure in recognition of breast cancer awareness. All patrons wearing pink will get in for $3 instead of $5. Halftime promotion is an airplane toss with various prizes awarded to winners, the grand prize is a $100 gift certificate to the Ram...

► 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).

●    The Man In Charge...
Gordy Presnell - The Broncos are in their fourth year under the leadership of head coach Gordy Presnell. To date, he has gone 77-43 while at Boise State and 473-170 in 22 seasons as a collegiate head coach. In competition versus Utah State he has gone 6-1, Presnell is 4-3 in games coached against Nevada.

●    As a Team...
Offensively - The Broncos have struggled scoring averaging 61.4 points per game (4th WAC) while shooting 36.5 percent (8th WAC) from the floor, 26.9 percent (9th WAC) from the 3-point arc, and 65 percent (6th WAC) from the free-throw line.

Defensively - Boise State is allowing 62.6 points per game (6th WAC) while opponents have shot 37.4 percent (3rd WAC) from the floor and 27.5 percent (3rd WAC) from the 3-point line. On the glass, Boise State is out rebounded by an average of 1.4 boards per game (6th WAC), 41.1 (3rd WAC) to 42.5 (8th WAC) rebounds.

●    Who To Watch...
Marisa Stotler - The sophomore forward currently leads the team in scoring while coming in off the bench. She is averaging 9.6 points and a second-best 6.0 rebounds per game, 13th in the WAC on the glass.

Heather Pilcher - The freshman guard is second on the team in scoring at 8.6 points per game. The Lynwood, Calif., native has led the Broncos in scoring three times during league play.

Brittany Moore - The senior guard ranks third in scoring at 7.7 points per game. She missed the Idaho and Fresno State games because of injury but returned against Hawaii in a reserve role. She returned to the starting lineup at Nevada on Jan. 30.

Jamia Malone - The senior guard is fourth in scoring at 7.3 points while adding 3.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game.

Note: statistical rankings are for all games unless noted otherwise.

► 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.

●    The Head Coach - Utah State is in it’s sixth season under head coach Raegan Pebley who is 53-110 at the school. Since she was hired to bring women’s basketball back to Utah State with the 2003-04 season, she has gone 1-7 versus Boise State.

●    As a Team - Entering Friday’s game, Utah State is averaging 57.7 points per game (7th WAC) while allowing 57.9 (1st WAC). They have shot 38.8 percent (4th WAC) from the court, 31.2 percent (2nd WAC) from the arc, and 63.9 percent (7th WAC) from the foul line.  
●    Who to Watch - Seniors Danyelle Snelgro and Ana Pares lead the Aggies each averaging 13.6 points (t-6th WAC). Snlegro adds 4.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists (2nd WAC) per game, while Pares brings 4.0 rebounds.

●    What’s Back From Last Year - The Aggies returned two starters and six letterwinners from last year’s 9-20 squad that went 5-11 in the WAC to place seventh.  

●    Conference Preseason Polls -
The league’s coaches picked Utah State to place sixth in this year’s WAC race, while the media pegged them seventh.

●    A Quick Look at the Series...
Friday’s game in Boise will be the 18th all-time in the series which is led by Boise State 14-3. It will be the second of two meetings this year between the Aggies and Broncos, Utah State won the first 58-44 on Jan. 17 in Logan. Boise State swept three games over Utah State last year including a WAC Tournament quarterfinal contest in Las Cruces, N.M. The Broncos saw their 11-game win streak over USU snapped in January in the loss to the Aggies.

●    The Last Time The Aggies and Broncos Met...
     Logan, Utah (1/17/09) - Freshman Courtney VanBrocklin scored a team-best 14 points in Boise State’s 58-44 defeat at Utah State Aggies in Logan, Utah.  It was one of those days where nothing went right for the Broncos who fell behind early and never really challenged the Aggies during the game as they scored a season low for points.
     The first half saw Utah State slowly pullout to a double-digit lead taking a 19-7 advantage by the 10 minute mark. Boise State managed to keep the game close in the opening 20 minutes and even used a short 6-0 run to cut the deficit to six-points, 28-22, by the half.
The start of the second half punctuated Boise State’s struggles as they forced bad shots and committed three turnovers. Meanwhile, Utah State seized control of the game for good with a 16-2 run. Before the Broncos know it they were down 20 points, 44-24, with 13:48 to play.
     The closest Boise State would come in the final 13 minutes was 13 points, 46-33, with 10:51 remaining as Utah State coasted to the 14-point victory.  
     Boise State struggled shooting the ball hitting 33 percent from the floor. VanBrocklin led Boise State with a solid performance recording 14 points, five rebounds, and one assist. Sophomore post Janie Bos had a strong second half finishing the contest with a double-double on 10 points and 10 rebounds.
     Boise State had no answer for Utah State’s Ana Pares who was on fire from 3-point land hitting five-of-seven from beyond the arc. She ended the game as the only Aggie in double-figure points with 20 to go with two rebounds, three assists, and four steals. Lydia Whitehead added seven points and nine rebounds, while Nicole Johnson recorded seven points and a team-high 10 boards.

► 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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