Boise State travels to Texas for Sunday match-up with TCU in the WNIT's second round ...

Winner gets Texas Tech-Texas State victor.

The Broncos advanced to the second round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament with a 77-54 victory over instate-rival Idaho State Thursday night in Boise. Next up is a second round encounter at Texas Christian (TCU) Sunday evening in Fort Worth, Texas. Tip-off for the game is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. (Mountain) in the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on TCU’s campus. As usual, the game will be broadcast live throughout southern Idaho on the Boise State Radio network starting at 3:45 p.m.: KBSU AM 730 in Boise, KEZJ AM 1450 in Twin Falls, and KBSK FM 89.9 in McCall.

Sunday’s encounter will be the third meeting all-time between the Broncos and Lady Frogs with Boise State holding a 2-0 record in the series. It has been over 16 years since they last met on Dec. 22, 1991 at the Shocker Classic in Wichita, Kan. where the Broncos won 93-83. Boise State enters the WNIT as the two-time Western Athletic Conference regular season champions with an overall record of 24-7 and 14-2 conference mark. Meanwhile, TCU enters the game as the regular season runners-up in the Mountain West Conference going 13-3 in league and owners of a 21-11 overall record. The winner gets a date with Saturday’s Texas Tech-Texas State winner late next week at a place to be determined.

How They made the Postseason

The Broncos earned the Western Athletic Conference’s automatic bid to the Women’s National Invitational Tournament following Fresno State’s victory over New Mexico State in the WAC Tournament championship game March 15. That gave the Bulldogs the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament opening the WNIT bid to the regular season co-champion Broncos. This is the second trip for Boise State to the WNIT all-time.

Previous Boise State Postseason Tournaments

This bid marks the fifth time that the Broncos have advanced to a postseason tournament and the second consecutive year in a row. Boise State has played in four previous national postseason tournaments prior to this year’s WNIT invite. They had lost five straight until Thursday’s win over Idaho State to give the Broncos a 1-5 postseason record.

In 1975 the Broncos (21-3) advanced to the AIAW national tournament in 1975 as the Northwest Region (District 8) Tournament champion. They lost two games in Harrisonburg, Virginia beginning with an opening round defeat to then national power Wayland Baptist 93-37 followed by a consolation round loss to Kansas State 65-37.

In 1994 Boise State (23-6) was an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The co-champions of the Big Sky Conference traveled to Seattle, Washington to battle the Washington Huskies of the Pacific-10 Conference. The Broncos fell 89-61 at Hec Edmundson Pavilion in the first round.

1998 saw the last appearance by Boise State (19-11) in the WNIT. They traveled to play Louisiana State in the first round at Baton Rouge, Louisiana. That game went to the Lady Tigers from the Southeastern Conference by 20 points, 58-38.

2007 saw Boise State (24-9) win the WAC regular season and tournament championships to advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 13 seasons. The Broncos were sent to Los Angeles, California where they played the #14 ranked George Washington Colonials in the first round. The Broncos battled hard but lost to the Atlantic-10 Conference champions by nine points, 76-67, at USC’s Galen Center.

WNIT First Round Recap: Idaho State at Boise State

Boise State exploded past Idaho State late in the second half to defeat the Bengals 77-54 in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament Thursday night in Boise. The Broncos seized control of the game with a 16-0 run to take a 65-44 lead with four minutes to go. Jamia Malone led the Broncos with a career-high 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from 3-point range as the Broncos extended their school-record home win streak to 17 games.

The game was a close five-point or less game until the eight minute mark of the second period Boise State started a 16-0 run to take a 21-point, 65-44, lead with just over four minutes remaining. Shell shocked, Idaho State could get no closer than 15 points with just under three minutes to play. The Broncos finished the game out scoring the Bengals 28-10 in the final eight minutes. Malone hit three 3-pointers in the last three minutes to silence Idaho State’s chances as Boise State claimed the 23-point victory over their rivals from eastern Idaho.

The Broncos dominated the boards out rebounding the Bengals 66-to-44 accounting for 26 extra shot attempts and a 21-to-two advantage in second chance points. Boise State also dominated the paint out scoring the visitors 34-to-six.

Malone led four Broncos in double-figure points with 18 to go with four rebounds. Tasha Harris was one-of-two players with a double-double on 17 points and 11 boards, while Jenna Galassi recorded her first ever on 10 points and 11 rebounds. Jackie Lee added 11 points and five rebounds, followed by Sierra Moeller with four points and a career-high 11 rebounds.

Looking at Boise State: Two-Time WAC Champions

Boise State features the WAC’s top and the nation’s 26th ranked scoring offense averaging 73.4 points per game. They are an up tempo team who is at it’s best pushing the ball up the floor in a wide open attack.

Boise State won its second straight conference season title this year going 14-2 in the WAC to tie Fresno State for first. The Broncos finished the regular season 22-6 overall then extended the mark to 24-7 which includes two WAC Tournament contests and one WNIT game. The 24 ties the school record for wins and gives the program its second consecutive 20-win season, first ever back-to-back, and the fifth all-time. Boise State closed their home schedule undefeated for the first time since Taco Bell Arena opened with the 1982-83 season. They went 14-0 at home and currently have an active 17-game win streak in Boise dating back to last year. That home record is ranked tied, with Montana, for the sixth longest active streak in the NCAA Division I.

Boise State returned three starters and seven letterwinners from last year’s championship team. They also added eight new faces to the squad. After struggling initially going 3-3 early, the Broncos slowly found their way finishing the pre-conference slate at 8-4. Included in Boise State’s overall record is a 2-1 mark versus the Pacific-10 Conference and a 7-0 record against teams that went to postseason tournaments in 2007.

Boise State started conference action with two disappointing conference road defeats at Fresno State 73-63 and at New Mexico State 79-65. In both games the Broncos dug themselves a huge hole then battled back only to fade down the stretch. However, Boise State then rattled off a 14-0 record to win the conference championship while averaging 75.1 points per game with a victory margin of 12.9 ppg during the streak.

Boise State is the defending Western Athletic Conference champions after going 12-4 in league play during the 2006-07 campaign. They set a school record for overall wins after finishing 24-9 highlighted by the WAC’s regular season and tournament titles, and a NCAA Tournament first round appearance where they lost 76-67 to George Washington. This year’s Boise State team was picked to repeat their conference championship in 2008 by both the league’s coaches and media.

Who To Watch For The Broncos

Boise State became a solid team during league play with seven of the 10 active players having recorded at least one double-figure point game while four averaged over 10 points per game. Boise State has arguably the best backcourt trio in the WAC in juniors Tasha Harris and Jessica Thompson, and senior wing Jackie Lee. All three have reached the 1,000 career points milestone this season.

Tasha Harris starts at the point-guard position where she is a 2008 All-WAC First Team, WAC All-Defensive Team, and WAC All-Tournament Team honoree. She has scored double-figure points in 30-of-31 games while leading the Broncos in scoring 15 times this season and 32 times during her career. She enters the game as the WAC’s leading scorer at 16.3 points per game to go with 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists (WAC 2nd), and 2.0 steals (WAC 7th).

Jessica Thompson was the WAC’s Preseason Player of the Year and is a 2008 All-WAC Second Team honoree, she was a first teamer in 2007. The junior starts at the shooting-guard position where she has led the team in scoring 10 times this year and 32 times throughout her career. She is ranked eighth in the WAC for scoring at 13.6 points per game. She has recorded double-digit points in 24-of-31 games during the 2007-08 campaign.

The Broncos play for the most part a three guard offense with senior Jackie Lee playing the wing (three-guard). She turned it on during league action averaging of 10.3 points (WAC 16th) and 5.1 rebounds (WAC 20th) per game. On the season she is averaging 9.5 points (WAC 17th) and 5.1 rebounds (WAC 18th). Lee reached the 1,000 career point milestone this past Thursday when she scored 11 points in the Broncos WNIT victory over Idaho State. The senior joins teammates Thompson and Harris in the 1,000 point club as the 15th member.

Meanwhile, junior forward Jenna Galassi was a major factor in WAC competition as well averaging 10.2 points (WAC t-17th) and 4.4 boards during conference play. Galassi is averaging 7.5 points per game and 4.0 boards on the year.

Sophomore Ja’Lara Walker moved into a starting role at center on Jan. 28th and has been a solid contributor to the Broncos’ success. The Merced, Calif. native has recorded three double-doubles and reset her career highs for points and rebounds three times. She recorded the school’s third ever 20/20 game with career-highs on 21 points and 23 rebounds against San Jose State on Feb. 28. She set the school record for rebounds in a game with the 23 and tied the mark for offensive boards with 11 against SJSU. In addition, she shot an impressive WAC second best 60.7 percent (54-89) from the floor in league games, while averaging 8.1 points and 6.3 rebounds (WAC 11th).

Offensively As A Team

The Broncos feature the WAC’s top ranked scoring offense and the nation’s 26th on the year averaging 73.4 points per game on 39.6 percent (WAC 6th) shooting from the floor, 32.9 percent (WAC 4th) from 3-point range, and a league best 70.7 percent from the foul line. In league games, the Broncos averaged 74.6 points (WAC 1st) per game and have scored 80 plus points six times. On the season, they are ranked 23rd nationally for three-pointers per game at 6.9 per contest.

Defensively As A Team

Defensively, Boise State allows 65.2 points per game to rank sixth in the league. Meanwhile, opponents have shot 38 percent (WAC 3rd) from the court and 31.4 percent (WAC 4th) from long range. Boise State is a +2.1 in rebound margin, 41.9 to 39.9 rpg. The Broncos are forcing 19.6 turnovers per game (WAC 2nd) while giving it away 16.2 times per game (WAC 3rd), they are second in the WAC for turnover margin at +3.4.


Game 32 Preview: Boise State at TCU in WNIT Second Round Game
Sunday, March 23 in Fort Worth, Texas, Tip at 4:00 p.m. (Mountain)

The Series

Sunday’s encounter will be the third meeting in the series between TCU and Boise State. The Broncos have won both previous games dating back to the first match-up in Boise on Dec. 10, 1982 by the score of 84-61. The last time they met was at a Wichita State tournament in Kansas on Dec. 22, 1991 when the June Daugherty coached Broncos won 93-83.

Scouting TCU

The Lady Frogs enter the game at 21-11 overall. TCU finished league action in second place with a 13-3 mark. In their last game, they lost 69-67 in the semifinals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament to San Diego State on March 14 in Las Vegas.

TCU is in its ninth season under the direction of Jeff Mittie where he has accumulated a 194-94 record. The Lady Frogs returned three starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s 21-11 team that placed tied for second in the conference with a 11-5 mark. They advanced to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The 2007-08 ISU team was picked to place second in the preseason poll.

Statistically For The Lady Frogs

As a Team: Offensively, TCU scores 69.8 points per game while shooting 41 percent from the floor, 32 percent from the arc, and 69 percent from the foul line. Defensively, they allow 58.7 points per game and opponents to shoot 39 percent from the court and 33 percent from 3-point range. They average 38 rebounds and 16.5 turnovers per game.

Who to Watch: TCU is led by two players averaging double-figure scoring. Adrianne Ross leads at 13.4points per game to go with 3.6 rebounds, followed by Lorie Butler-Rayford at 10.9 ppg and a team-high 7.2 rebounds.


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