What’s Happening This Week For The Broncos . . .
Boise State (24-8, WAC 12-4) heads to the 2007 NCAA National Tournament as the Western Athletic Conference’s regular season co-champions and tournament champions. This is the second trip all-time for the Broncos to the NCAA’s big dance. The last time Boise State participated in the tournament was as an at-large team out of the Big Sky Conference in 1993-94 when they lost at Washington 89-61 in the first round.
This year the Broncos will face #14/13 George Washington (26-3) the Atlantic-10 Conference regular season champions Saturday afternoon at the Galen Center on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles. Tip-off will be 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game between Texas A&M and Texas-Arlington which tips at noon (mountain). Boise State and George Washington have never met in women’s basketball prior to Saturday’s encounter.
Lately For The Broncos - WAC Tournament Champions
Boise State won their first ever conference tournament title in history when they defeated New Mexico State 49-46 in the WAC Tournament championship game last Saturday (March 10) afternoon in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The Broncos were forced to rally from nine points, 33-24, down with 14:53 to go in the game to win. Sophomore point guard Tasha Harris led the Boise State rally with 13 points, 10 in the second half, in the game. The Broncos gained a measure of revenge from the 2006 WAC Tournament when New Mexico State eliminated Boise State in the semifinals by the score of 60-59 in Reno, Nevada.
Boise State entered the 2007 WAC Tournament as the league’s number one seed. They advanced to the WAC championship game by defeating San Jose State 81-64 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, followed by a come from behind win over Fresno State in the semifinals on Friday by the score of 68-59.
Thompson and Harris Receive WAC Tournament Honors . . .
Boise State’s sophomore guard tandem of Jessica Thompson and Tasha Harris were both named to the WAC all-tournament team for their performances at the 2007 WAC Championship Tournament. Thompson was also named the tournament’s MVP averaging 16.3 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.7 steals in 27.3 minutes of action per game. She recorded 22 second half points in the WAC semifinal game against Fresno State to lead the Broncos from eight down in the first half to the victory. Harris led the Broncos’ rally in the championship game scoring 10 second half points to lead Boise State to the title. She averaged 10.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 2.3 steals in 27.3 minutes of action per game.
Boise State’s Presnell named the 2007 Russell Athletic/WBCA Region 7 Coach of the Year....
BOISE, Idaho - (3/12/07) - Boise State’s head women’s basketball coach Gordy Presnell has been named the 2007 Russell Athletic/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s (WBCA) Region 7 Coach of the Year. It is Presnell’s second honor this year after being named the Western Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year last week. He joins seven other regional coaches of the year including such names as Geno Auriemma of Connecticut, Pat Summitt of Tennessee, and Tara VanDerveer of Stanford.
This award is the 15th coach of the year honor for Presnell in 20 years as a collegiate head coach. He has been named conference coach of the year eight times, WBCA regional coach of the year 5 times, and WBCA national coach of the year twice.
Presnell’s honors to date:
15 - Total Coach of the Year honors
1 - WAC Coach of the Year honor (2007)
8 - Total Conference Coach of the Year honors
1 - Russell Athletic / WBCA NCAA Div. I Regional Coach of the Year honors (2007)
4 - WBCA NCAA Div. II Regional Coach of the Year honors
2 - WBCA NCAA Div. II National Coach of the Year honors
This year, Presnell led his team to a school record 24 wins (24-8) heading into this week’s NCAA National Tournament, the WAC regular season co-championship, and the program’s first ever conference tournament title with the Broncos’ 49-46 win last Saturday over New Mexico State in the WAC championship game in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The Road To A Regular Season Championship . . .
After leading the league standings from the start, the Broncos were forced to rally from two games down in the final week to tie Louisiana Tech for first place in the league standings to close the season. Boise State entered Thursday’s (March 1) home game with Fresno State at 10-4 knowing that Louisiana Tech had finished their season the night before with a 74-56 win over New Mexico State giving the Lady Techsters a final mark of 12-4. The Broncos standing at 10-4 and on a three-game losing streak had to win their final two home games to earn a share of the conference title.
First up was Fresno State Thursday (March 1) night at Taco Bell Arena in Boise. The Broncos had lost two weeks earlier at Fresno State by a 69-61 score. Like in the first game, Boise State fell behind early forcing them to play catchup throughout the game. However, this time the Broncos managed to rally for the win coming from 10 down at the intermission. Powered by 18 points from Tasha Harris the Broncos gained their first lead since early in the game at 62-61 with 2:08 to play. Boise State held that lead stretching it to six with 12 seconds remaining on four consecutive free throws by Jackie Lee in the final 22 seconds of the game. The victory pulled the Broncos to within one win of Louisiana Tech in the standings heading into the season finale at home against Hawaii.
The Final step for a championship was Saturday (March 3) night as the Broncos hosted the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine on Senior Day in Taco Bell Arena in front of the second largest crowd of the season as 1,910 fans showed up knowing the magnitude of what was at steak for the Boise State women. Hawaii led twice during the game, following the opening basket for a 2-0 lead and again at 11-10 with 13:57 left in the first period. Seven seconds later Boise State seized the lead for good at 13-11 on a Nadia Begay three-pointer. The rest of the game saw the Broncos answer one Hawaii rally attempt after another. Boise State slowly pulled out to double-figure leads in the second half, the largest was 15 points (56-41) with 7:08 showing on the clock. Michelle Hessing led the Bronco stand with 13 second half points as Boise State ended the game settling for the final 10-point victory margin of 66-56 to finish their first ever season sweep of Hawaii and claim a share of the WAC’s regular season title.
About The Broncos In 2006-07 . . .
Boise State entered league play with the best overall non-conference mark in the WAC at 9-4. They followed that up with a 12-4 league mark to win the regular season WAC co-championship and close with a 21-8 record. This year’s WAC title mark’s only the third time that Boise State has won or shared of a league regular season title. Last week the Broncos went 3-0 at the WAC Tournament to improve to 24-8 overall. It is only the fourth time in 37 years that the Broncos have won 20 or more games setting a school record for wins with 24. During the year they claimed their first 20-win season and league championship since the 1993-94 team went 23-6 to share the Big Sky Conference’s title. They also won their first ever conference tournament title. Boise State finished the regular season with the top ranked scoring offense and defense in the conference.
Some of 2006-07’s Accomplishments:
• First postseason bid since 1997-98 WNIT bid
• Second NCAA bid all-time, last was 1993-94
• First WAC regular season title (co-championship)
• First conference title since 1993-94 (13 years), third season conference title all-time
• First conference tournament title ever
• First 20-win season since 1993-94 (13 years), Fourth 20-win season all-time in 37 years
• Record for most wins in a season with 24
• Record for most games in a season with 32
• Best overall record in 13 years, since 1993-94 team went 23-6
• Best conference mark in 15 years, since 1991-92 team went 14-2
• First number one seed into WAC Tournament, previous best was sixth in 2006.
• Sixth largest home crowd ever with 4,518 on Feb. 3 versus Louisiana Tech
• Nine-game win streak tied for sixth longest all-time
• Eight-game league win streak fourth longest all-time
• Eight-game home win streak fifth longest all-time
• Five WAC road wins most ever since joining league
• Five consecutive WAC road wins tied for third longest all-time (record seven in 1991-92)
• Four WAC player of the week honors most since joining league in 2001
• First All-WAC First and Second Team honors since joining the league - Jessica Thompson and
• First WAC Coach of the Year honor - Gordy Presnell
• Two WAC All-Tournament honorees Jessica Thompson and Tasha Harris
• First WAC Tournament MVP - Jessica Thompson
• 12th Bronco to hit 1,000 career points - Michelle Hessing now has 1,005
• Second most points scored in a season 2,208
• Fourth best scoring average all-time at 69.0 points per game
• School record for rebounds in a season with 1,298
Who To Watch For The Broncos . . .
Boise State has two 2007 All-WAC honorees led by first team selection Jessica Thompson averaging 14.1 points per game (6th in WAC) to go with 3.8 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 2.2 steals (4th in WAC) per game. In 29 games she has recorded 21 games in double-figure points, eight with 20 plus points including a season high 25 points at Oregon Nov. 24 and 24 in the Broncos WAC semifinal win over Fresno State (March 9). Michelle Hessing, a senior center out of Boise was a All-WAC Second Team honoree. She averages 11.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game through the season. Hessing has also recorded 19 double-digit point games with a career high 25 against New Mexico State on Feb. 1. Sophomore point guard Tasha Harris is the third Bronco averaging double-figure scoring at 10.6 points per game to go with 3.9 rebounds, and a team high 2.6 assists per game. On the glass, sophomore Rebecca Kepilino leads the team with 6.1 rebounds (11th in WAC) per game, followed by Hessing at 4.9 rpg and Jackie Lee at 4.8 rpg.
Offensively As A Team . . .
Boise State is an up-tempo team who looks to push the ball up the floor. The Broncos have recorded 70 or more points 15 times this season going 13-2 in those contests. They have been held below 60 points only four times (4-0) this season. On the year, the Broncos feature the WAC’s top ranked scoring offense averaging 69 points per game while shooting 39.8 percent (2nd in WAC) from the floor, 29.1 percent (4th in WAC) from beyond the arc, and 69.5 percent (4th in WAC) from the foul line. In league games they averaged 70.4 points per game (1st in WAC). On the boards, Boise State averages 40.6 rebounds per game ranking fourth in the WAC. They are a plus 8.5 (1st in WAC) in scoring margin, plus 2.5 (4th in WAC) in rebounding margin, and plus 3.5 (2nd in WAC) in turnover margin.
Defensively As A Team . . .
Defensively, Boise State possesses the top ranked scoring defense in the WAC allowing 60.5 points per game on the year. They were second in league competition allowing 59.6 points per game. On the year, they have held their opponents to 38.4 percent (5th in WAC) shooting from the hardwood and 29.6 percent (6th in WAC) from long range. The Broncos have the fourth ranked rebounding defense in the league holding opponents to 38.1 rebounds per game. Boise State forces 19.1 turnovers per game (3rd in WAC) in comparison to their giving it away a league low 15.6 times per game. Boise State is ranked first in the WAC and 50th nationally (3/11/07 last national rankings released) for fewest turnovers per game. They also lead the WAC in assist/turnover ratio at 0.82.
What’s Back From 2005-06 . . .
Coach Presnell is in his second year at Boise State. The Broncos made an immediate improvement under the new coach’s leadership in his first season in 2005-06 going 15-15 overall, 6-10 in league action to place sixth, and advanced to the conference tournament’s semifinals. It was the first non-losing season for the Broncos in six seasons and the highest conference finish since the program joined the league for the 2001-02 campaign.
Boise State returned every impact player from last year’s squad including four starters, nine letterwinners, and a redshirt sophomore. Among the returners are the top five scorers and rebounders from a squad that scored the most points in eight years with 1,984 points (66.1 points per game) and set a school record for team rebounds in a season with 1,252. The Broncos return 90.5 percent of their points, 86.7 percent of the rebounds, 83.7 percent of the assists, and their entire scoring punch from outside the three-point arc. Boise State has led the league in three-point percentage in three of their first five seasons of membership including the last two years (2004-05 and 2005-06).
Boise State and the NCAA National Tournament . . .
Boise State has participated in one previous NCAA Tournament. That was as an at-large bid out of the Big Sky Conference in 1994. The June Daugherty coached Broncos lost at Washington 89-61 in the first round. That year the Broncos went 23-6 overall and were regular season co-champions of the Big Sky.
The 1994 the Broncos were led by two honorable mention all-Americans in Lidiya Varbanova and Michelle Schultz. Two years later Daugherty left Boise State for Washington.
Boise State and Postseason National Tournaments . . .
Boise State has participated in three national postseason tournaments in its history. Once each in the AIAW, NCAA, and WNIT tournaments. To date, they have never won a postseason game in any of the three competitions.
Their last postseason appearance was in the 1998 WNIT when they lost in the first round at Louisiana State 58-38.
Postseason Tournament Appearances
1. 1975 AIAW - Wayland Baptist L 93-37
1975 AIAW - Kansas State L 65-37
2. 1994 NCAA - Washington L 89-61
3. 1998 WNIT - Louisiana State L 58-38
SCOUTING GAME 33: #14/13 George Washington (26-3, A-10 14-0)
About The Bronco-Colonial Series . . .
Saturday will be the first meeting between Boise State and George Washington. However, the Broncos are 1-3 all-time versus current members of the Atlantic-10 Conference. They own a win over LaSalle (82-65) on Dec. 4, 1992, while recording one loss to Dayton (73-71) on Nov. 21, 2003, Rhode Island (85-54) on Jan. 5, 1980, and Temple (82-52) on Dec. 23, 2000.
What Has Happened Lately For George Washington . . .
The Colonials went undefeated, 14-0, on their way to the Atlantic-10 Conference regular season title. They lost in their conference tournament’s semifinals to Saint Joseph’s 57-55 on March 4. The loss to the Hawks snapped a 19-game win streak for the Colonials. They enter the NCAA Tournament as an at-large bid going 26-3 overall. They are currently nationally ranked #14 by the AP and #13 by the coaches poll. George Washington is the number five-seed into the Dallas Regional of the NCAA Tournament.
George Washington NCAA Tournament History . . .
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.
GW is making its fifth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance and 14th overall. They are 14-13 in 27 tourney games to date. The Colonials are 11-2 in first-round games, including an 87-72 victory at 10th-seeded Old Dominion last March.
Who To Watch For The Colonials . . .
GW has four players averaging double-figure points led by Jessica Adair and Sarah-Jo Lawrence at 13.1 points per game each. Kimberly Beck is third at 11.2 points per game followed by Kenan Cole at 10.9 ppg. On the glass, Adair leads the team at 7.4 rebounds per game followed by Whitney Allen at 6.1 per game.
George Washington As A Team . . .
Offensively, the Colonials average 67.5 points per game while shooting 43.1 percent from the floor, 37.1 percent from three-point range, and 66.3 percent from the charity stripe. Defensively, they allow 55.0 points per game. Their opponents have been held to 35 percent shooting from the hardwood and 30 percent from behind the arc. On the boards, GW averages 38.3 rebounds per game while allowing 37.3. They are a plus 12.4 in scoring margin, plus 1.0 in rebound margin, and plus 4.4 in turnover margin.
More About George Washington . . .
GW returned four starters and 11 letterwinners from last year’s 23-9 team that went 13-3 in the Atlantic-10 Conference to finish tied for first place. The Colonials advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before being eliminated. They are coached by Joe McKeown who is in his 18th season at GW accumulating a 412-146 record with the Colonials to date. They are the regular season A-10 champions.