Broncos Lose Heartbreaker 71-70 To Pitt With Two Seconds Left . . .

EUGENE, Oregon - (11/25/2006) - Pittsburgh won the Oregon Thanksgiving Tournament over Boise State 71-70 on a three-pointer with two seconds left in the game. With time running out Pitt’s Shavonte Zellous ran around a screen on the right wing, then pulled up from 20 feet out and nailed the decisive three-pointer to give the Panthers a hard fought victory over the Broncos in Eugene, Oregon. It was a gut wrenching loss for the Broncos who went toe-to-toe with the Big East Conference’s projected fifth place team (fifth out of 16) who remain perfect on the season at 6-0.

Boise State opened the game by sprinting out to a 16-2 lead four minutes into the game, eventually stretched the lead to 15 at 22-7 with 12 minutes left in the period. The Broncos ran their offense perfectly hitting over 50 percent of their shots in the first eight minutes. Michelle Hessing scored 10 of her team and career high 22 points in the first half as Boise State took an 11-point, 38-27, lead to the intermission.

However, Pittsburgh began the second half as strong as Boise State did in the first rolling off seven straight points to pull within four points less than two minutes into the period. Boise State answered by stretching the lead back to 8 points with 15 minutes to play.

The two teams battled for every rebound and loose ball as momentum swung back and forth. Pittsburgh gained their first lead of the game at 45-44 with 12:41 on the clock. They eventually claimed a five-point lead with six minutes to go.

The Broncos refused to back down as they stagged their own rally reclaiming the lead at 62-60 with 3:36 to go. Boise State increased their advantage to four with two minutes left at 66-62. That is when Pitt rallied again to tie the game at 68 all with 53 seconds remaining on a Shavonte Zellous three-pointer.

Boise State’s Tasha Harris gave the Broncos a two-point lead on two made free throws with 41 seconds left to setup the final moments of the game. With time running Pitt drove down the left side of the floor when Zellous cut into the key losing her balance and falling to the court with 21 seconds to go. Boise State wanted a traveling call because she rolled on the floor but the call did not go their way.

On the ensuing play Zellous ran to the right around the top of the key trying to clear herself for the jumper. She finally cut to the high right wing where a teammate found her open for an uncontested three-pointer which she hit with two seconds left in the game. Boise State was unable to get a good look at the buzzer even though Harris attempted a long shot as time expired.

Boise State was led by Michelle Hessing with a career high 22 points to go with a team high (tied) six rebounds and two assists. She also hit 10-of-11 free throws on the night. Two other Broncos scored double-digit points as Tasha Harris netted 16 along with four rebounds, five assists, and one steal. Jessica Thompson added 10 points and three rebounds. Jackie Lee tied Hessing for the top rebounding honors with six but managed only three points.

Pitt was led by Shavonte Zellous with 31 points and seven rebounds. Xenia Stewart was second in scoring with 14 points to go with five rebounds and two assists. Sylvie Taffen led the Panthers on the boards with nine.

The loss drops Boise State to 3-2 on the year while Pitt remains undefeated at 6-0. The Broncos had Michelle Hessing and Jessica Thompson named to the all-tournament team for their efforts on the weekend. Boise State returns to action this Wednesday when they travel to Utah Valley State for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff in Orem, Utah.


Newspaper Box Score
Boise State vs Pittsburgh
11/25/06 5:00 PM at Eugene, Ore. (McArthur Court)


Hessing, Michelle 6-14 10-11 22; Harris, Tasha 5-11 4-4 16; Thompson,
Jessica 3-9 4-4 10; Begay, Nadia 3-10 0-0 8; Kepilino, Rebecca 2-5 2-3 6;
Lee, Jackie 1-4 0-0 3; Thompson, Jackie 1-1 1-2 3; Stewart, Amanda 1-1 0-0
2; Walker, Ja'Lara 0-0 0-0 0; Reyes, Bridgette 0-0 0-0 0; Galassi, Jenna 0-2
0-0 0. Totals 22-57 21-24 70.

ZELLOUS, Shavonte 12-23 4-5 31; STEWART, Xenia 6-15 2-3 14; NWUDE, Selena
3-6 3-5 9; TAYLOR, Danielle 4-7 0-1 8; WALKER, Marcedes 2-3 1-1 5; TAFEN,
Sylvie 1-5 0-0 2; SIMS, Jania 1-9 0-0 2; BRAXTON, Ashleigh 0-7 0-0 0. Totals
29-75 10-15 71.

Boise State...................   38   32  -   70
Pittsburgh....................   27   44  -   71

3-point goals--Boise State 5-21 (Harris, Tasha 2-6; Begay, Nadia 2-9; Lee,
Jackie 1-4; Galassi, Jenna 0-1; Thompson, Jessica 0-1), Pittsburgh 3-10
(ZELLOUS, Shavonte 3-3; STEWART, Xenia 0-1; SIMS, Jania 0-2; BRAXTON,
Ashleigh 0-4). Fouled out--Boise State-None, Pittsburgh-NWUDE, Selena;
WALKER, Marcedes. Rebounds--Boise State 42 (Lee, Jackie 6; Hessing, Michelle
6), Pittsburgh 40 (TAFEN, Sylvie 9). Assists--Boise State 13 (Harris, Tasha
5), Pittsburgh 12 (SIMS, Jania 5). Total fouls--Boise State 18, Pittsburgh
22. Technical fouls--Boise State-None, Pittsburgh-TEAM.
Championship Game
Oregon Thanksgiving Tournament


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