Boise State (2-1) travels to Moraga, Calif. for the Hilton Concord Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Saint Mary’s College this weekend. The Broncos open with the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners (2-2) in the first game Friday night at the McKeon Pavilion, tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. (Mountain). Depending on what happens in both games on Friday Boise State will meet either Saint Mary’s (2-2) at 8:00 p.m. or Yale (0-2) at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday.
Lately For The Broncos...
Boise State has opened the season at 2-1 overall. They are coming off a 73-51 loss last Saturday, Nov. 17, at Santa Clara preceded by two home victories over Loyola Marymount, 71-67, on Nov. 9 and Montana, 70-64, on Nov. 11.
Looking at the Boise State Broncos (2-1) . . .
The Broncos are 2-1 overall entering the week. Boise State is the defending Western Athletic Conference champions after going 12-4 in league play last season. They 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 conference championship this season by both the league’s coaches and media.
Who To Watch For The Broncos . . .
Junior point guard Tasha Harris has led the Broncos in scoring during the first three games of the season averaging 18.7 points per game to go with 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.0 steals. Harris is a 2007 WAC Preseason All-WAC Second Team honoree. Junior shooting guard and the WAC’s Preseason Player of the Year Jessica Thompson is second in scoring and rebounding at 14.0 points and 6.7 boards per game. The two combine for almost 33 points per game, nearly half of Boise State’s total per game. Jamia Malone, a JC transfer, and Rebecca Kepilino average 8.0 points per game, while Kepilino leads the team on the glass at 8.0 rebounds per outing.
Offensively As A Team . . .
Boise State is an up-tempo team who looks to push the ball up the floor. The Broncos are averaging 64 points per game on 34.8 percent shooting from the floor, 31.8 percent from three-point range, and 62.3 percent from the foul line.
Defensively As A Team . . .
Defensively, Boise State allows 68 points per game and opponents to shoot 40.8 percent from the court and 34 percent from long range. Boise State is nearly even in rebounding by a 43.0 to 42.3 margin, a plus 0.7 rebound margin. The Broncos are forcing 17.3 turnovers per game while giving it away 16.0 times per game.
What’s Back From 2006-07 . . .
Who’s back for the Broncos: Boise State returns three starters and seven letterwinners from last season’s WAC 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.
SCOUTING GAME 4: CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD (2-2)
About The Bronco-Roadrunner Series . . .
Friday will be the first meeting between Boise State and Cal State Bakersfield.
A Look At Cal State Bakersfield . . .
The Roadrunners are in their first transition year of moving from NCAA Division II to Division I. CSU Bakersfield is 2-2 and have lost two straight entering this week’s competition and are coming off a74-61 loss Tuesday night at UC Irvine. Prior to that, the Roadrunners defeated San Diego 76-66 and Houston 95-83 to open the season then loss 95-77 at Pepperdine. They are currently competing as an independent. CSUB returned two starters and five letterwinners from last year’s 23-6 record at the NCAA DII level. Tim Larkin is in his 7th year with the Roadruners where he has a 144-35 mark.
Who To Watch For The Roadrunners . . .
Cal State Bakrsfield is led by four players averaging double figures. Kelley Tarver leads at 17.5 points per game, followed by Krista Arase at 16.8 ppg, Chris Kepenekian with 13.0 ppg, and Naomi Johnson at 12.5 ppg. Nikhol West leads on the glass at 5.8 rebounds per game, meanwhile, Johnson averages a second best 5.5 rpg.