Boise State women claim share of WAC title with 66-56 victory over Hawaii in regular season finale...

BOISE, Idaho - (3/3/2007) - The Boise State women’s basketball team ended the regular season with a hard fought 66-56 victory over Hawaii and in the process claimed a share of the Western Athletic Conference title Saturday night in Boise. Senior Michelle Hessing finished her home court career in fashion with a team high 13 points, all in the second half, to lead the Broncos to the season sweep over Hawaii. The win infront of the second largest crowd of the year of 1,910 gives the Broncos the number one seed into next week's WAC Tournament at Las Cruces, New Mexico.

Boise State maintained a lead throughout the majority of the game trailing twice early on in the first half. Hawaii’s only leads came on the opening basket for a 2-0 advantage and then by one point, 11-10, with 13:57 to go in the opening 20 minutes. From that time on the Broncos managed to keep a lead between three and 11 points most of the game. Their largest lead of the first period was 11, 32-21, with just over a minute to play, while the second half saw them go up 15, 56-41, on a Amanda Stewart jumper with 7:08 to play in the game.

No lead appeared safe in the contest as Hawaii relentlessly moment rally after rally only to see Boise State answer. After cutting the Bronco lead to four points, 39-35, early in the final period, Hawaii was unable to get any closer in the final 15 minutes of action. Boise State slowly stretched the lead into double-figures with just under 12 minutes left and kept it there until the final five minutes when the Wahine made their final run pulling to within seven three times, the last on a Tanya Smith jumper with 1:01 remaining to make the score 63-56.

Every Bronco scored in the game helping Boise State to a share of the conference regular season title. Senior Michelle Hessing added four rebounds, two blocks, and one steal to her team high 13 points. Meanwhile, Tasha Harris continued her hot streak with her third consecutive game in double-figure scoring with 12 points to go with two rebounds and three assists. Sophomore forward Rebecca Kepilino was the third Bronco in double-digit points with 11 while grabbing five rebounds. Seniors Nadia Begay and Jackie Thompson each contributed nine points in their final home games as Broncos. Thompson also recorded a team high seven rebounds to lead Boise State on the glass.

Hawaii was led by junior post Tanya Smith with a double-double on 13 points and 13 rebounds, followed by Amy Kotani with 12 points, Janevia Taylor with 11, and 10 points and seven rebounds by Iwona Zagrobelna.

On the night Boise State shot the ball well hitting 42.9 percent (24-of-56) from the floor, 50 percent (5-of-10) from the arc, and 13-of-17 (76.5 percent) from the charity stripe. Hawaii countered with 35.4 percent (23-of-65) shooting from the hardwood, 13.3 percent (2-of-15) from the three-point arc, and 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from the foul line. Boise State out scored Hawaii 22-to-10 in points off turnovers.

The win gives Boise State their first regular season conference title since the 1993-94 team shared the Big Sky title and only their third league title ever. The Broncos also have two league divisional titles in 1978 and 1998. The Broncos finish the regular season at 21-8 overall and 12-4 in WAC play, tied with Louisiana Tech for first place. By virtue of Boise State’s season sweep of Hawaii the Broncos earn the number one seed into next week’s WAC Tournament at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico. They will play the winner of Tuesday night’s play-in game between San Jose State and Idaho, at 2:30 p.m. (mountain) Wednesday afternoon in the quarterfinals.


Newspaper Box Score
Hawaii vs Boise State
03/03/07 7:00 p.m. at Boise, Idaho (Taco Bell Arena)


HAWAII (15-13, WAC 9-7)
Smith, Tanya 4-10 5-6 13; Kotani, Amy 5-9 1-2 12; Taylor, Janevia 4-14 2-2
11; Zagrobelna, Iwona 5-10 0-0 10; Lee, Amber 3-6 0-1 6; Tambini, Pam 2-8
0-1 4; Chretien, Cassidy 0-3 0-0 0; Liepkalne, Dita 0-2 0-0 0; Cariaga,
Saundra 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 23-65 8-12 56.

BOISE STATE (21-8, WAC 12-4)
Hessing, Michelle 5-12 3-4 13; Harris, Tasha 3-7 4-6 12; Kepilino, Rebecca
4-9 3-4 11; Thompson, Jackie 4-7 1-1 9; Begay, Nadia 3-6 0-0 9; Stewart,
Amanda 1-2 0-0 2; Thompson, Jessica 1-6 0-0 2; Galassi, Jenna 1-2 0-0 2;
Lee, Jackie 0-1 2-2 2; Reyes, Bridgette 1-1 0-0 2; Walker, Ja'Lara 1-3 0-0
2. Totals 24-56 13-17 66.

Hawaii........................   23   33  -   56
Boise State...................   32   34  -   66

3-point goals--Hawaii 2-15 (Kotani, Amy 1-5; Taylor, Janevia 1-3; Tambini,
Pam 0-3; Cariaga, Saundra 0-1; Zagrobelna, Iwona 0-3), Boise State 5-10
(Begay, Nadia 3-6; Harris, Tasha 2-3; Lee, Jackie 0-1). Fouled
out--Hawaii-None, Boise State-None. Rebounds--Hawaii 43 (Smith, Tanya 13),
Boise State 37 (Thompson, Jackie 7). Assists--Hawaii 10 (Kotani, Amy 4;
Tambini, Pam 4), Boise State 14 (Begay, Nadia 4). Total fouls--Hawaii 18,
Boise State 12. Technical fouls--Hawaii-None, Boise State-None. A-1910


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