BOISE, Idaho - (3/12/07) - The Boise State (24-8) women’s basketball team will face the #14/13 George Washington Colonials (26-3) of the Atlantic 10 Conference in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday. The game is scheduled to start 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first game which tips-off at 11:00 a.m. (pacific) in Los Angeles, California at the Galen Center on the University Southern California campus. Tickets go on sale Tuesday morning at 10:00 a.m. at the Boise State Athletic Ticket Office, they are $20 dollars apiece for the Boise State session only.
The Broncos, champions of the Western Athletic Conference, enter the tournament as a #12 seed in the Dallas bracket. Boise State has won five straight games and have set a school record for wins in a season with 24. This is the second appearance for Boise State in the NCAA Tournament all-time. The first time was in 1994 as an at-large bid out of the Big Sky Conference. That year they lost in the first round at the University of Washington by the score of 89-61.
The Broncos are led by two All-WAC performers in Jessica Thompson and Michelle Hessing. Thompson a sophomore two-guard is the leading scorer at 14.1 points per game, ranking sixth in the WAC. She was named to the WAC’s all-conference first team, and to last week’s WAC championship all-tournament team, as well as, the event’s MVP. Meanwhile, Hessing was a All-WAC Second Team honoree. She is second in scoring and rebounding at 11.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game. Sophomore point guard Tasha Harris averages 10.6 points per game and was a major factor in last week’s WAC Tournament competition earning her recognition on the all-tournament team. The trio helped lead the Broncos to the Western Athletic Conference regular season co-championship and the WAC Tournament title last weekend in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
They are coached by Gordy Presnell, the Western Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. On March 12 he was named the Russell Athletic / WBCA Region 7 Coach of the Year after guiding his team to one of the top turn-arounds in the last two years. He took a 10-19 team in 2004-05 and made them into winners in two short years going 39-23 overall, including a school record for wins in a season at 24-8 this year.
The Broncos opponent on Saturday is George Washington. They enter the tournament ranked #14 and 13 in the nation. They are currently 26-3 overall and were awarded a five-seed in the Dallas Bracket. GW, which is making its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 14th overall, is 14-13 in 27 tourney games. The Colonials are 11-2 in first-round games, including an 87-72 victory at 10th-seeded Old Dominion last March.
The Colonials are enjoying their best season since 1997, when they finished with a school-record 28 victories (28-6) and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament as a No. 5 seed. Two years prior, in 1995, GW entered the NCAA Tournament as a No. 4 seed, the highest seed the program has been awarded in 14 appearances.
Joining Boise State and George Washington in the Los Angeles sub-regional is fourth-seeded Texas A&M and 13th-seeded Texas-Arlington. The winner of the GW-Boise State game will meet the winner of the Texas A&M-Texas-Arlington game in the second round on Monday in Los Angeles. Boise State has never played GW or Texas A&M before, however, they are 0-1 against UT-Arlington. The Broncos are 1-3 against current members of the Atlantic-10 Conference, 0-4 against the Big 12 Conference, and 0-3 against the members of the Southland Conference.