► What’s Happening This Week
Boise State University’s women’s basketball team is home for the first time in nearly three weeks when they host Montana State University (6-2) of the Big Sky Conference at 7:00 p.m. (Mountain) on Wednesday night in Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos will then travel to Moraga, Calif., to face Saint Mary’s College (5-4) out of the West Coast Conference in their final non-conference road game of the year at 3:00 p.m. (Mountain) on Saturday.
This Week’s Talking Points...
● The Broncos look to end a two-game losing streak following losses at Oregon (88-61) and Portland (76-65) last weekend. Prior to the losses Boise State was off to its best start at 7-0 since the 1974-75 team opened 12-0.
● Boise State is led by its senior guard tandem of Tasha Harris (17.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 3.1 apg) and Jessica Van Hoogen (16.7 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.9 apg), they have combined for 30 or more points six times this year. Harris has scored 1,422 points in her career to rank third all-time at Boise State, she needs 78 more to move into second. Van Hoogen moved into fifth place this past weekend when she scored 38 points giving her a career total of 1,359, she needs 32 to move into fourth place.
● Montana State is coached by Boise State alum Tricia (Bader) Binford who ranks in the top 10 of many Bronco records. She played for the Broncos from 1991-96. Binford is in her fifth season at MSU where she is 55-69 and 0-2 versus the Broncos.
● Montana State leads the all-times series between these former Big Sky Conference rivals 26-24. However, the Broncos have won three-straight including a 70-65 victory last year in Bozeman. Boise State had four in double-figures last year but only Heather Pilcher returns, she had 13 points against the Bobcats. MSU was led by Erica Perry who scored a team-high 16 points versus the Broncos
● The series between Boise State and Saint Mary’s is tied at three wins apiece with the Broncos defeating the Gaels 68-60 in Boise last year. In the last encounter the Broncos were led by then senior Brittany Moore who scored a career-high 21 points, she was followed by Heather Pilcher with 17 points. The Gaels were led by Louella Tomlinson with a double-double on 26 points and 13 rebounds followed by Ashlee Smith with 11 points.
A Look At Boise State
► What’s Happened Recently
Boise State enters the week at 7-2 overall and coming off a tough weekend in Oregon where they lost two games, at Oregon 88-61 and at Portland 76-65. They had opened the season 7-0 which was the best start to a season since the 1974-75 team opened 12-0. Poor shooting and turnovers hurt the Broncos last week in Oregon where they struggled to find any rhythm in the losses.
● Oregon Recap - Friday night in Eugene, Ore., the Oregon Ducks ran past the Broncos with their high-tempo game as they raced up and down the floor. Boise State was hit with early foul trouble which saw its top three post players on the bench with two each five minutes into the game. Oregon took advantage of the situation along with Boise State’s poor shooting (32.4 percent) and season-high 26 turnovers to seize control of the game. Oregon was never really threatened in the contest by the Broncos and led by as many as 34 points late in the game. Tasha Harris and Jessica Van Hoogen each recorded 15 points to lead Boise State in scoring.
● Portland Recap - The struggles continued Sunday at Portland where the Broncos shot a season-low 30.3 percent from the floor and turned the ball over 23 times. The game was close the entire way but Portland never trailed in the contest maintaining a two to eight point advantage through most of the 40 minutes. Boise State had its chances late but forced things in the closing minutes with bad shot selection and poor passes which allowed the Pilots to pull away down the stretch. Jessica Van Hoogen led the team with 23 points followed by Tasha Harris with 12 and Rebecca Kepilino with 11.
► Radio Broadcasts
Boise State Radio carries every regular season and postseason game on the air beginning with a 15 minute pregame show. Boise State Assistant Sports Information Director Doug Link is in his 12th year as the voice of Boise State Women’s Basketball providing the play-by-play for each broadcast. To tune into the action go to KBSU AM-730 in Boise, KEZJ AM-1450 in Twin Falls, and KBSK FM-89.9 in McCall.
► Games on the Internet
Fans can log on to BroncoSports.com and watch all home games. By becoming a Bronco Vision premium subscription member, Boise State fans will receive access to live games, past games, seasonal highlights, special features and interviews that can only be seen by paying the membership price of $9.95 per month or $69.95 per year. Bronco Vision members will need a high speed internet connection. Live stats can be found at BroncoSports.com to follow the game on game tracker. In addition, all games can be heard live on Boise State Radio’s website at http://radio.boisestate.edu/listenonline.html.
► Boise State’s Leaders
Senior Tasha Harris leads the Broncos statistically averaging 17.2 points (3rd in WAC), 5.4 rebounds (13th in WAC), 3.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game. She is followed by Jessica Van Hoogen who adds 16.7 points (4th in WAC), 3.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.8 steals per game. Junior center Janie Bos is third on the team in scoring at 6.8 points to go with a team-high 6.6 rebounds (6th in WAC), and 1.2 assists. Freshman guard Julia Marshall ranks fourth in scoring at 6.3 points to go with 2.2 rebounds.
► Offensively as a Team
The Broncos average 73 points per game (3rd in WAC) while shooting 39.9 percent from the floor, 25.4 percent from the 3-point arc and 69.7 percent from the free-throw line. On the glass, Boise State averages 42.9 rebounds per game (1st in WAC) and gives up 39.9 (8th in WAC), for a plus 3.0 in rebound margin (3rd in WAC).
► Defensively as a Team
The Broncos allow 65.2 points per game (4th in WAC) and hold opponents to 38 percent shooting from the floor and 27 percent from the arc. Boise State is a plus 2.9 in turnover margin committing a average of 17.2 per game while forcing 20.1 per game.
► Broncos Ranked Seventh Nationally in Steals
The Broncos are one of the better teams in the nation defensively as it relates to steals. Boise State currently ranks 7th nationally in steals per game at 12.8, Oral Roberts leads the NCAA at 16.1 per game.
► Harris and Van Hoogen Moving Up Scoring Charts
Boise State has one of the top scoring duos in the history of the Western Athletic Conference in senior guards Tasha Harris and Jessica Van Hoogen. Harris has 155 points in the first nine games this year moving her from sixth into third-place on the all-time scoring list for Boise State with 1,422 career points. Van Hoogen who entered the year in seventh place currently has 1,359 career points and has moved into fifth place.
► Harris and Van Hoogen Among Top Scoring Duos
Boise State’s senior guard tandem of Tasha Harris and Jessica Van Hoogen are one of nine pairs ranked in the top 100 nationally for scoring, Harris is 69th while Van Hoogen comes in tied for 88th. They are one of three sets of guards to be ranked nationally joining East Tennessee State’s TaRonda Smith (18.3 ppg) at 44th and Siarre Evans (18.0 ppg) who is tied for 51st, and Vermont’s Courtney Pilypaitis (19.3 ppg) and May Kotsopoulos (17.2 ppg) ranked 30th and tied for 70th respectively.
► The Head Coach
The Broncos are in their fifth year under the leadership of head coach Gordy Presnell. To date, he has gone 86-49 while at Boise State and is 482-175 in 22 plus seasons (2009-10 is his 23rd) as a collegiate head coach. Versus this weekend’s competition as Boise State’s head coach he is 2-0 versus Montana State and 1-1 against Saint Mary’s.
Scouting Game #10
Montana State Bobcats (6-2)
Wednesday ● Dec. 9, 2009 ● 7:00 p.m. (MST)
Taco Bell Arena ● Boise, Idaho
► Scouting the Bobcats - Montana State enters the week at 6-2 overall. They are coming off a home win over Montana State-Northern by the score of 89-59. Prior to that they lost at home to Gonzaga (87-72). They also have a road win over WAC member Idaho by the score of 70-58. There are no other common opponents.
► Statistically in 2009-10 - Montana State is led by three players averaging double-figure points beginning with Katie Bussey at 15.4 points per game. She is followed by Sarah Strand averaging 13.9 ppg and a team-high 6.4 rebounds per game, Erica Perry adds 11.3 ppg. The Bobcats average 72 points per game while allowing 65.2 for a scoring margin of +6.8 per game.
► About Montana State - The Bobcats are in their 5th year under the direction of head coach Tricia (Bader) Binford who is 55-69 at Montana State. The Bobcats are members of the Big Sky Conference where they are picked to place third in this year’s race by the league’s coaches and media. They return three starters and five letterwinners from last year’s 15-15 squad that went 8-8 in conference play to place third.
► The Series - Wednesday’s encounter will be the 51st in the series between these former Big Sky Conference rivals with the Bobcats holding a slim advantage 26-24. Boise State left the Big Sky following the 1995-96 season ending the league rivalry. The Broncos have won the last three encounters including a 70-65 win in Bozeman last year (Dec. 5, 2008). The last time they met in Boise was on Feb. 23, 1996 when the Broncos won 76-61. The last time the Bobcats won their head coach Tricia Binford was a senior for the Broncos, Montana State won 78-72 in Bozeman on Nov. 27, 1996.
► Versus the Big Sky Conference - Boise State, who was once a member of the Big Sky, is 176-134 all-time versus the current membership of the league. The Broncos are 3-0 against the Big Sky this year with wins over Weber State (66-58), Portland State (92-80) and Idaho State (76-60).
Scouting Game #11
Saint Mary’s Gaels (5-4)
Saturday ● Dec. 12, 2009 ● 3:00 p.m. (MST)
McKeon Pavilion ● Moraga, California
► Scouting the Gaels
Saint Mary’s enters the week at 5-4 overall and has won two straight at Washington State (80-70) and at Idaho (74-67). Against common opponents with Boise State they have wins over Idaho State (76-69) and WAC member Nevada (65-52), and a loss at Fresno State (94-81).
► Statistically in 2009-10 - They are led by four players scoring in double-figures. Louella Tomlinson leads the way averaging a double-double on 16.6 points and 10.2 rebounds. She is followed by Ashlee Smith at 11.9 ppg, Jontelle Smith at 11.8 ppg, and Jasmine Smith at 10.8 ppg. As a team, Saint Mary’s averages 72.1 points per game while allowing an even 72.
► About Saint Mary’s - The Gaels are members of the West Coast Conference where they are picked by the league’s coaches to place fifth in the 2010 conference race. They return four starters and 13 letterwinners from last year’s 11-19 squad that went 7-7 in the WCC to tie for fourth. They are in their fourth season under the direction of head coach Paul Thomas who owns a 45-54 record at the school.
► The Series - Saturday’s encounter with Saint Mary’s is the seventh all-time in the series with each team owning three wins. Boise State won the last meeting between the schools last year in Boise on Dec. 22 by the score of 68-60. The last time the Gaels won was during the SMC Thanksgiving Classic in Moraga on Nov. 24th by the score of 78-63.
► Versus the West Coast Conference - Saint Mary’s is the second of three West Coast Conference teams that the Broncos will face this year, they lost 76-65 at Portland on Sunday (Dec. 6) and will host Santa Clara on Dec. 19. The Broncos are 32-25 all-time versus the members of the WCC.