Boise State takes it’s undefeated 2-0 record on the road this weekend when they face the Santa Clara Broncos (1-1) at the Leavey Center in Santa Clara, Calif., tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (Mountain). Santa Clara was one of two teams to defeat Boise State at home last season, the Broncos’ home record was 12-2 during 2006-07. Saturday’s game can be heard live on Boise State Radio and over the internet at BroncoSports.com beginning at 7:45 p.m. with assistant sports information director Doug Link calling the play-by-play.
Lately For The Broncos...
Boise State opened the season at home last weekend defeating Loyola Marymount of the West Coast Conference 71-67 on Friday. The Broncos then followed their opening night win with a 70-64 victory on Sunday over the defending Big Sky Conference champion Montana Grizzlies. The Broncos were led by Tasha Harris in both games with team highs in points recording 17 versus LMU and a career high 25 against Montana. A total of four Broncos averaged double-figure points last weekend with Harris at 21.0 points per game, Jessica Thompson 14.5 ppg, Rebecca Kepilino 11.0 ppg, and Jamia Malone at 10.5 ppg. Kepilino was the top rebounder at 8.5 per game followed by Thompson at 8.0 rpg. Full game recaps from last weekend can be seen later in this release.
Looking at the Boise State Broncos (2-0) . . .
Boise State is the defending Western Athletic Conference champions after going 12-4 in league play last season. Set set a school record for overall wins after finishing 24-9 during the 2006-07 campaign highlighted by the WAC’s regular season and tournament titles, and a NCAA Tournament first round appearance. This year’s team was picked to repeat their championship this season by the league’s coaches and media.
Who’s back for the Broncos: Boise State returns three starters and seven letterwinners from last season’s championship squad. Jessica Thompson (13.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg) returns as the starting two-guard where she was an All-WAC First Team honoree and the WAC Tournament MVP in 2006-07. The junior from Temecula, Calif. enters the 2007-08 campaign as the WAC’s Preseason Player of the Year and a Preseason All-WAC First Team honoree. Tasha Harris (10.6 ppg, 4.0 rpg) is back as the starting point guard where the junior was named to the WAC All-Tournament Team last spring and a Preseason All-WAC Second Team honoree this fall. The third starter back is senior Jackie Lee (7.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg) at the small forward where she has been a three-year starter. The other four Broncos back from last season all were significant impact players for the team, they include senior center Amanda Stewart (2.7 ppg, 3.0 rpg), juniors Rebecca Kepilino (7.6 ppg, 6.1 rpg) and Jenna Golassi (4.1 ppg, 2.4 rpg), and sophomore center Ja'Lara Walker (1.3 ppg, 2.0 rpg).
As a team: Boise State led the WAC in scoring offense and defense last season at 68.9 ppg and 61.0 ppg respectively. They set school records for points with 2,275 and rebounds with 1,330. The Broncos return the bulk of last year’s squad in 2007-08. After two games Boise State is averaging 70.5 points per game (WAC 2nd) while allowing 65.5 ppg (WAC 3rd). They have always been one of the better three-point shooting teams in the WAC since joining the league in 2001. This season they are hitting 39.7 percent from beyond the arc to rank third in the conference.
Boise State versus this week’s opponent(s) . . .
The Broncos are 1-3 all-time against the Santa Clara Broncos. Last year SCU defeated the Broncos 67-65 in Boise on Nov. 20, 2006. They were one of two teams to beat the Broncos in Taco Bell Arena where Boise State went 11-2 a year ago. Santa Clara is the second of four West Coast Conference teams that Boise State will face this year. The Broncos have already defeated Loyola Marymount 71-67 in the season opener in Boise last Friday (Nov.9). Currently, Boise State is 29-20 all-time versus the WCC and 6-1 since coach Presnell came to campus. The WCC teams on this year’s Bronco schedule include: Loyola Marymount (Nov. 9) in Boise, BSU 71-67, at Santa Clara (Nov. 17), and at Portland (Nov. 30). Boise State is playing in a tournament at Saint Mary’s (Nov. 23-24) but is seeded on the other side of the bracket.
Looking at the Santa Clara Broncos (1-1) . . .
The Broncos split a pair of road games to open the season. They lost 62-51 at WAC member Nevada on Friday (Nov. 9), then on Tuesday (Nov. 13) rebounded to defeat future Boise State opponent Washington State in Pullman by the score of 62-52. Who to Watch: They currently have three players averaging double-digit points led by Chandice Cronk at 15.0 points per game, followed by Elizabeth Doran at 14.5 ppg and Jen Gottschalk at 10.0 ppg. Gottschalk leads on the glass with a 9.5 rebounds per game average.
This season’s SCU Broncos returned two starters and nine letterwinners from a squad that went 13-17 overall and 5-9 in West Coast Conference play to finish sixth. Michelle Bento-Jackson is in her sixth season where she has accumulated at 79-75 overall record. Her 2007-08 Broncos were picked by the WCC coaches to place seventh in this year’s league race.