This week has Boise State University (4-5) home for one game versus Idaho State University (3-6) on Wednesday followed by a one-game trip to Los Angeles to play at Loyola Marymount University on Sunday. Wednesday’s 7:00 p.m. (Mountain) contest in Taco Bell Arena will be a rematch of last year’s WNIT first round game at Boise when the Broncos won 77-54 over the Bengals. Sunday’s 2:00 p.m. (Mountain) game in Los Angeles will be the return match between Boise State and Loyola Marymount following the Broncos’ 71-67 victory over the Lions in the season opener last year at Boise.
► The Record
The Broncos enter the week at 4-5 overall. Boise State snapped a four-game skid last Monday, Dec. 1, when they defeated Southern Utah University by 14, 74-60, in Boise. They then went to Montana for a two-game road trip where they split defeating Montana State University in Bozeman 70-65 Friday night before falling at the University of Montana in Missoula 72-51 on Sunday.
► Kepilino Returns to Active Roster
Boise State has Rebecca Kepilino back on a limited basis. She was a starter last year at forward before suffering a season ending injury. Kepilino was a projected starter coming into this season but has struggled with her recovery. She saw her first action of the year at Montana playing nine minutes.
► New Look Broncos
Boise State currently has one active starter back from last year in senior Jenna Galassi who moved into that role following the injury to Kepilino early in the 2007-08 campaign. Joining her now are three players who competed last year and one redshirt. Seniors Jamia Malone and Brittany Moore who played last year as reserve guards now find themselves in starting roles. Sophomore post Sierra Moeller, a reserve forward last season, has moved into the starting role at center following the loss of Walker. Meanwhile redshirt-transfer Janie Bos is the starting power forward. Entering this week they have a combined 76 starts at Boise State with Galassi accounting for 49.
► Looking at Boise State as a Team
Offensively Boise State averages 64.6 points per game while shooting 37 percent from the floor, 24 percent from the 3-point arc, and 62 percent from the free-throw line. Defensively, the Broncos have allowed 67.3 points per game while opponents have shot 40 percent from the floor and 27 percent from the 3-point line. On the glass Boise State is nearly even with the opposition 40.0 to 40.3 (opponents) rebounds per game.
► Who to Watch for Boise State
The Broncos are led by a trio of underclassmen beginning with sophomore forward Marisa Stotler who leads the team coming in off the bench to average team-high 10.8 points and 6.6 boards per game. She is followed by two freshmen guards in Heather Pilcher at 8.9 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.6 assists, and Courtney VanBrocklin at 6.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.9 steals per game.
Looking at Game 10 . . .
► The Game Idaho State at Boise State - Wednesday (12/10/08)
Boise State will host instate rival Idaho State Wednesday night, Dec. 10, at 7:00 p.m. (Mountain) in Taco Bell Arena. This is the lone game of the season between these two long-time Gem state rivals and is a rematch of last year’s WNIT first round game when the Broncos won 77-54 in Boise. This is the third consecutive and final game for Boise State against members of the Big Sky Conference.
► A Quick Look at the Series
This is one of the oldest rivalries for Boise State as Wednesday’s contest will be the 62nd meeting between the Broncos and Bengals. Boise State has dominated the series since its inception during the winter of 1971 owning a 43-18 all-time advantage. The two schools were once conference rivals as members of the old Mountain West Athletic Conference (1982-88) before that league merged with the Big Sky Conference in 1988. Boise State ended its conference affiliation with the Big Sky and Idaho State when the Broncos left in the summer of 1996 for the Big West Conference. The two schools have continued to play each other on an annual basis ever since, one game a year. The Broncos currently have a five-game win streak going over the Bengals including two victories last season when they defeated Idaho State 78-74 in Pocatello during the regular season followed by a WNIT first round victory 77-54 in Boise last March. Idaho State’s last victory in the series came on Nov. 25, 2003 when they defeated Boise State 97-77 in Pocatello.
► The Last Time They Met - 2008 WNIT First Round
BOISE, Idaho (3/20/2008) - Boise State exploded past Idaho State late in the second half to defeat the Bengals 77-54 in the first round of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament in Boise. The Broncos seized control of the game with a 16-0 run to take a 65-44 lead with four minutes to go. Jamia Malone led the Broncos with a career-high 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. It was the first ever postseason victory for Boise State. The game was also the first in Idaho history to pit two of the state’s public universities head-to-head in a postseason national tournament in any sport.
Malone led four Broncos in double-figure points with 18 to go with four rebounds. Tasha Harris was one-of-two players with a double-double on 17 points and 11 boards, while Jenna Galassi recorded her first ever on 10 points and 11 rebounds. Jackie Lee added 11 points and five rebounds, followed by Sierra Moeller with four points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
Idaho State was led by Andrea Lightfoot’s 16 points, six rebounds, and one assist. Natalie Doma, the Big Sky’s all-time leading scorer, was held to 13 points and 17 rebounds. She entered the game third in the nation in scoring at 25.1 points per game.
► About Idaho State
What’s Happened So Far - Idaho State enters the week at 3-6 overall and is coming off a 61-55 loss last Saturday in Pocatello, Idaho to Wyoming. Their three wins have come versus Alcorn State 67-50 (neutral site), at Utah State 58-43, and at home against Montana Western 83-60 on Dec. 3. The Bengals have played four common opponents with Boise State going 1-3. They include the Wyoming and Utah State (WAC member) games, as well as a pair of road defeats at Southern Utah 75-61 and Loyola Marymount 69-55. Boise State lost at Wyoming 62-55 and defeated Southern Utah in Boise 74-60. The Broncos next game will be in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon at Loyola Marymount.
What’s Back From Last Year - Idaho State returns three starters and seven letterwinners from last year’s squad that went 20-10 overall and 12-4 in league to place second.
Preseason Polls - In the league’s preseason polls the coaches picked the Bengals to place seventh out of nine teams in the 2008-09 Big Sky race while the media pegged them one spot higher at sixth.
As a Team - Entering Wednesday’s game Idaho State averages 59.6 points per game while allowing 64.6. They have shot 37 percent from the court, 34 percent from the arc, and 70 percent from the foul line.
Who to Watch - The Bengals have two players averaging double-figure points led by Oana Iacovita at 12.6 points and a team-high 9.1 rebounds per game. She is followed by Michelle Grohs at 11.3 points and 6.9 boards per game.