Boise State Wins 75-74 Battle Over Nevada in Women's Basketball?

Broncos move into three-way tie for third.

BOISE, Idaho (2/22/09) Boise State saw its best overall team effort Sunday afternoon as the Broncos defeated the University of Nevada 75-74 in an exciting back and forth Western Athletic Conference women’s basketball  encounter in Taco Bell Arena.  The Wolf Pack had a chance to win on their final possession with under five seconds to play, but a Dellena Criner turnover as she drove the key and the recovery by Boise State’s Rebecca Kepilino as time ran out secured the victory for the Broncos. The game saw 11 ties and 19 lead changes as neither team led by more than seven points during the game.

“I’m really proud of the way our team played hard on the court today,” said head coach Gordy Presnell. “They gave everything today to get the win...this was big for the team. It was back and forth the entire time, we had a lot of kids step up and contribute this afternoon.”

The game was a high paced barnburner from the beginning as neither team could gain much of a scoreboard advantage throughout the 40 minutes. Nevada used an 8-2 run to take an early six-point lead with 13:58 to play in the first half up 15-9.

They held onto the lead until 8:53 remained in the period when the Broncos completed an 8-0 run with a Janie Bos layup that gave Boise State a two-point 17-15 advantage.  

The half continued to go back and forth as the teams traded baskets, 10 lead changes and saw eight ties during the period. The Wolf Pack claimed a one-point 33-32 lead at the intermission following a blocked Boise State jumper which resulted in Nevada’s Brandi Jones converting a fastbreak layup for the go ahead points at the buzzer.

The second half continued at a high pace as neither team backed down. The Broncos claimed a quick two-point lead, 35-33, when Brittany Moore opened the period with a 3-pointer on Boise State’s first possession.

Nevada responded with an 11-2 run to take their largest lead of the day at 44-37, seven points, with 16:10 left in the contest. Except for one tie, the Wolf Pack then held onto a scoring advantage until just over 11 minutes remained.

Down one, Boise State freshman Heather Pilcher hit a 3-pointer from the right wing with 11:10 showing on the clock giving the Broncos a two point lead at 51-49. The teams then traded baskets over the next three minutes.

With 8:19 to play, the Wolf Pack seized control on a Johnna Ward 3-pointer giving Nevada a 60-58 advantage. They would not surrender the scoreboard lead for the next seven minutes as they stretch the lead to five points on several occasions.   

Down five points with 3:44 to play Boise State staged a rally that saw the Broncos roll off a 10-2 run to take a 73-70 lead with 46 seconds to play. The run was powered by six points from senior Jamia Malone while freshman Courtney VanBrocklin added the other four as Boise State claimed the lead for good.

In the closing moments of the game Nevada pulled to within one point twice. Down 73-70, Shavon Moore converted two free throws with 21 seconds remaining to make the score 73-72. Boise State senior Brittany Moore answered with two of her own with 15 seconds showing on the clock to put the Broncos up 75-72.

Following a Boise State foul with nine seconds left, Nevada’s Johnna Ward stepped to the line where she made both attempts pulling the Wolf Pack within one at 75-74.

On the ensuing Bronco possession VanBrocklin was trapped along the left side line where Nevada tied the ball up with just over four seconds to go. The possession arrow gave the Wolf Pack the ball and a chance to claim a road victory.

The inbound pass went to Nevada’s star Dellena Criner who immediately drove from the top into the key where she lost control of the ball trying to split the Boise State defense. The Broncos’  Kepilino recovered the loose ball inside the key securing the victory for Boise State.  

Boise State shot the ball well in the second half hitting 43 percent (13-30) from the floor, 56 percent (5-9) from the 3-point arc, and 86 percent (12-14) from the free-throw line. The Broncos finished the game at 38 percent (24-64) from the court, 32 percent (7-22), and 87 percent (20-23) from the charity stripe.

Nevada countered by hitting an impressive 48 percent (29-61) from the floor during the game, 27 percent (4-15) from the arc, and 63 percent (12-19) from the foul line.

It was a solid overall team effort for the Broncos who were led in scoring by Brittany Moore with 14 points. Heather PilcherMelissa Rima with 12 points and three rebounds to wrap-up the double-figure scorers for Boise State.  However, several other Broncos had key performances in the game as Jenna Galassi added 13 points, four boards and four assists, followed by finished just shy of a double-double with nine points and a career-tying 11 rebounds to lead the home team on the glass. Malone added eight points, two rebounds, and three assists, VanBrocklin contributed eight points and rebounds, while Sanders chipped in seven points.

Johnna Ward led Nevada with 19 points followed by Shavon Moore’s 16 points and four boards and Cherlanda Franklin’s 14 points and team-best nine rebounds. Boise State held the WAC’s second leading scorer Dellena Criner to eight points after averaging 14.9 on the year.

The victory keeps Boise State in the hunt for league title and a high seed into next month’s conference tournament in Reno, Nev., as they improve to 15-12 overall and 8-5 in WAC play. Nevada drops to 8-5 in conference with the loss and 14-12 overall. Depending on what else happens Sunday night in conference action, Boise State and Nevada are now tied with Idaho for at least third place at 8-5 in the league standings.

Next up for Boise State is the final regular season road trip beginning with San Jose State on Friday, Feb. 27, followed by a game at Hawaii on Sunday, March 1.



Game Summary

Nevada vs Boise State
02/22/09 2:00 pm at Boise, Idaho (Taco Bell Arena)

NEVADA (14-12, 8-5 WAC)

Ward, Johnna 5-11 5-6 19; Moore, Shavon 7-10 2-2 16; Franklin, Cherlanda
6-13 2-3 14; Criner, Dellena 4-7 0-1 8; Jones, Brandi 4-10 0-2 8; Hammond,
Marissa 1-2 1-3 3; Lombardi, Marianne 1-2 0-0 2; Woodard, Brittany 0-1 2-2
2; Gross, Jennifer 1-1 0-0 2; Williams, Kayla 0-1 0-0 0; Johnson, Amanda 0-1
0-0 0; Williams, Nicole 0-0 0-0 0; Cherry, Megan 0-2 0-0 0; Henry, Bre`Anna
0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-61 12-19 74.

BOISE STATE (15-12, 8-5 WAC)
Moore,Brittany 3-8 6-6 14; Pilcher,Heather 5-14 2-2 13; Rima,Melissa 4-7 2-2
12; Galassi,Jenna 3-10 2-2 9; Malone,Jamia 2-6 3-4 8; VanBrocklin,Courtney
2-6 4-4 8; Sanders,Ainsleigh 3-5 1-3 7; Bos,Janie 2-4 0-0 4;
Kepilino,Rebecca 0-3 0-0 0; Gross,Stacie 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-64 20-23 75.
Nevada........................   33   41  -   74
Boise State...................   32   43  -   75

3-point goals--Nevada 4-15 (Ward, Johnna 4-10; Criner, Dellena 0-1; Jones,
Brandi 0-1; Woodard, Brittany 0-1; Cherry, Megan 0-2), Boise State 7-22
(Rima,Melissa 2-4; Moore,Brittany 2-5; Galassi,Jenna 1-3; Pilcher,Heather
1-3; Malone,Jamia 1-5; Gross,Stacie 0-1; VanBrocklin,Courtney 0-1). Fouled
out--Nevada-None, Boise State-Rima,Melissa. Rebounds--Nevada 39 (Franklin,
Cherlanda 9), Boise State 40 (Galassi,Jenna 11). Assists--Nevada 16 (Criner,
Dellena 7), Boise State 13 (Pilcher,Heather 4). Total fouls--Nevada 15,
Boise State 19. Technical fouls--Nevada-None, Boise State-None. A-698

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