Second Half Surge Lifts Broncos Past UC Riverside

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
Lenhardt scores 20 to lead Boise State.

BOISE, Idaho - Boise State used a second half surge to pull away from UC Riverside 68-58 Sunday afternoon in a women's basketball game at Taco Bell Arena in Boise. Tied at 44 with 13:24 to play, the Broncos clamped down defensively to seize control of the contest. Boise State finished by out scoring the Highlanders 24-14 down the stretch to remain a perfect 4-0 at home as the Broncos improved to 4-2 overall. Lauren Lenhardt come off the bench to lead Boise State with a season-high 20 points followed by Kati Isham with 14 and Heather Pilcher with 12.    

"It was a strange game, but I was really happy with the way our team played," said coach Gordy Presnell. " The game was up and down most of the game. I thought Lauren (Lenhardt), Nicole (Brady) and Heather (Pilcher) kept us in the game in the first half. We are continuing to shoot well from the floor and that is keeping us in games, defensively we have some work to do."

The first half was one of mini runs with the teams staying close to each other and trading the lead three times along with five ties. Boise State had the largest lead of the period of six, at 13:48 on a Brady layup to make the score 10-4, then again a minute later when Lenhardt hit a short jumper for a 12-6 advantage.

Lenhardt kept the Broncos in the game early scoring 12 of her game-high 20 points in the first period. They were key points for the Broncos who had no answer for UCR's Natasha Hadley who scored a career-high 18 points in the opening 20 minutes before the Broncos shut her down holding her to four in the second half.

Brady (9), Lenhardt (12) and Pilcher (8) combined for 29 of Boise State's 33 first half points as the Broncos took a four-point 33-29 lead into halftime. Both teams shot well in the opening half with the Highlanders hitting 52 percent from the floor while the Broncos countered at 43.3 percent and where 38.5 percent (5-13) from the arc, UCR did not hit from the 3-point line in the period. Boise State dominated the glass by a 21 to seven margin.

The second half remained close for the first seven minutes before the Broncos turned up the defense and the Highlanders went cold from the floor. The teams were tied at 44 all with 13:24 to play with UCR shooting 60 percent (6-10) from the floor, when Boise State took control with its defense.

In the next seven minutes Boise State challenged every UCR shot forcing the Highlanders to go one for nine from the floor, in addition they missed two free throws and turned the ball over three times.  During that stretch, the Broncos out scored UC Riverside 14 to two giving the home side a 58-46 advantage with 6:19 left.

Boise State never trailed again as the Broncos extended their lead to a game-high 16 points (65-49) with 4:30 remaining.

Lenhardt, the Mountain West's leader in field goal percentage, finished the night shooting 57.1 percent (8-14) from the floor with two 3-pointers, good for a team-high 20 points to go with seven rebounds, one assists, two blocks and three steals.

Isham followed with 14 points, two rebounds and a team-high five assists. Pilcher added 12 points, as well as a team-best and career-high eight rebounds. Brady finished the day with nine points and six boards, while Diana Lee contributed eight points.

Boise State continued its solid field goal shooting which has the Broncos at top of the league rankings hitting 45.8 percent from the floor (27-59) and 45.5 percent (10-22) from the arc. In a game that saw few fouls called on either side, seven on UCR and 12 on Boise State, the Broncos made a perfect 100 percent (4-4) of their free throws.
 
Hadley finished the day with a career-high 22 points for UC Riverside to go with a team-high four rebounds. Brittany Palmer, a New Mexico State transfer, followed with 10 points and tied for the high on the glass with four boards. The Highlanders finished the contest shooting 48 percent (24-50) from the court, 30 percent (3-10) from beyond the arc and 50 percent (7-14) from the free-throw line.

Turnovers continue to be a concern for the Broncos who gave it away 22 times compared to 15 for UCR, which accounted for 22 Highlander points. Boise State was dominant on the boards all day out rebounding UCR 41 to 18, but only managed to turn that into a 13 to four advantage in second chance points.

Today's victory over UC Riverside was the first of five consecutive home games. It was also the third of four straight contests against teams that played in last year's WNIT, the Broncos are 2-1 so far in those games. Up next for Boise State is the first ever home game against a member of the powerful Big East Conference when the Syracuse Orange (5-0) come to Boise Tuesday night in a game that will be broadcast live on the Mountain Sports Network (The Mtn.) at 7:00 p.m. (Mountain).
 

Final Game Summary

UC Riverside at Boise State
11/27/11 2:07 pm at Boise, Idaho (Taco Bell Arena)

BOISE STATE 68, UC RIVERSIDE 58

UC RIVERSIDE (1-6)
Hadley, Natasha 11-17 0-2 22; Palmer, Brittany 3-8 3-3 10; Lewis, Jazzmin 4-6 0-0 8; Washington, Leah 2-5 1-4 5; Adams, Dynese 2-5 0-0 5; Nottingham, TreShont 1-7 1-2 4; Linton, Briauna 1-1 2-3 4; Williams, Jamila 0-0 0-0 0; Wallace, Taylor 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-50 7-14 58.

BOISE STATE (4-2)
LENHARDT, Lauren 8-14 2-2 20; ISHAM, Kati 5-11 2-2 14; PILCHER, Heather 5-9 0-0 12; BRADY, Nicole 4-7 0-0 9; LEE, Diana 3-10 0-0 8; LISTER, Cinnamon 1-4 0-0 3; ENGEL, Keiahnna 1-1 0-0 2; VANDIVER, Amber 0-0 0-0 0; MUNNS, Mandy 0-1 0-0 0; POTEET, Kinzi 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-59 4-4 68.

UC Riverside..................   29   29  -   58
Boise State...................   33   35  -   68

3-point goals--UC Riverside 3-10 (Adams, Dynese 1-2; Nottingham, TreShont 1-3; Palmer, Brittany 1-3; Wallace, Taylor 0-1; Lewis, Jazzmin 0-1), Boise State 10-22 (ISHAM, Kati 2-7; PILCHER, Heather 2-4; LENHARDT, Lauren 2-5; LEE, Diana 2-4; BRADY, Nicole 1-1; LISTER, Cinnamon 1-1). Fouled out--UC Riverside-None, Boise State-None. Rebounds--UC Riverside 18 (Palmer, Brittany 4; Hadley, Natasha 4), Boise State 41 (PILCHER, Heather 8). Assists--UC Riverside 20 (Nottingham, TreShont 8), Boise State 13 (ISHAM, Kati 5). Total fouls--UC Riverside 7, Boise State 12. Technical fouls--UC Riverside-None, Boise State-None. A-495