TUCSON, Ariz. (12/12/07) - Boise State lost 62-61 at Arizona on a buzzer beater Wednesday night in Tucson, Ariz. The Broncos led for most of the game before the Wildcats rallied to win in the closing seconds. Tasha Harris and Jackie Lee each recorded 15 points to lead the Broncos in scoring as Boise State had its three game winning streak snapped in heartbreaking fashion.
The first half was one of runs as Boise State jumped out of the gates quickly claiming an eight point, 14-6, lead six minutes into the contest. Arizona fought back pulling the score even at 14 apiece with 10 minutes to play on a pair of Sarah Hays’ free throws. The Wildcats claimed their first lead of the night seconds later when they stole the inbound pass followed by a Amina Njonkou layup giving Arizona a 16-14 lead.
The Broncos then responded with a 19-5 run over the next six and half minutes to take their largest lead of the game at 12 points, 33-21, with 3:19 remaining before halftime. During the Boise State run Lee and Jessica Thompson each nailed two 3-pointers apiece to pace the Broncos. Unfortunately, Arizona battled back scoring the final six points of the period cutting the Boise State advantage at the intermission to 33-27. Lee lead the Broncos in the opening 20-minutes with 12 points followed by 11 from Thompson.
The second half remained close throughout as the teams battled back and forth. Boise State took their largest lead of the half, nine-points, early in the period on the first basket of the half when Tasha Harris drained an open three from the left wing making the score 36-27. They tied that lead a few moments later at the 18:02 mark, 41-32.
The game then turned into a chess match as the Wildcats kept the game in reach. By the 14:28 mark the contest would remain a four-point game until the final buzzer. Boise State kept the lead until 10:47 was showing on the clock when Arizona’s Ashley Whisonant hit a rare Wildcat 3-pointer to give the U of A a one point, 48-47, lead.
The Broncos rallied reclaiming the lead one a pair of Sierra Moeller free throws, 49-48, and a Jamia Malone 3-pointer moments later to give Boise State a 52-48 advantage with 8:28 left to play.
The two teams then traded five leads over the next five and half minutes. The Broncos’ Amanda Stewart hit a short jumper with 2:07 remaining to give the Broncos a three point, 61-58, lead. Arizona pulled to within one on a Whisonant layup with 37 seconds showing on the clock.
Following a Boise State turnover, with 9.9 seconds to play and the Broncos up one. Lee stole the Wildcats inbound pass along the baseline. As she gained control of the ball in the right corner she tried to call a timeout but was denied by the officials and was called for stepping on the baseline instead, giving the ball back to Arizona.
On the next possession Arizona was able to get the ball inbounded to Whisonant who race the length of the floor. She drove the left wing into the post where she missed a layup with one second showing on the clock. Ify Ibekwe rebounded the ball then put it up off the glass and into the net as the buzzer sounded giving the Wildcats the one point victory over the Broncos.
It was a frustrating defeat for the Broncos as they lead most of the game over Arizona. After scoring double figures in the first half Lee and Thompson were held to three points apiece in the second. Lee tied for the team high points with 15 to go with four rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Tasha Harris recorded 15 points, 11 in the second half, along with two rebounds, and four assists. Thompson ended the game with 14 points and a team high six rebounds. No one else scored more than four points for the Broncos.
Three Wildcats hit double figure scoring led by Whisonant with 18 points, three rebounds, and three steals. She also turned the ball over eight times. Ify Ibekwe was second in scoring with 12 and a team high 11 rebounds earning the double-double. Amina Njonkou added 10 points, three boards, and three assists.
The loss drops Boise State to 6-4 on the year with a home game against Sacramento State this Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. in Taco Bell Arena. That will be the last game before Christmas and the last home game until Jan. 17 when the Broncos host Utah State in Western Athletic Conference action. Arizona improves to 5-4 on the season.
Newspaper Box Score
Boise State vs Arizona
12/12/07 7:00 PM at Tucson, Ariz.
ARIZONA 62, BOISE STATE 61
BOISE STATE (6-4)
Harris, Tasha 4-7 4-4 15; Lee, Jackie 5-13 1-2 15; Thompson, Jessica 5-16
1-2 14; Stewart, Amanda 2-7 0-0 4; Galassi, Jenna 2-4 0-0 4; Walker, Ja'Lara
2-2 0-0 4; Malone, Jamia 1-4 0-0 3; Moeller, Sierra 0-2 2-2 2; Moore,
Brittany 0-0 0-0 0; Rima, Melissa 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 21-58 8-10 61.
Whisonant, Ashley 8-14 1-2 18; Ibekwe, Ify 6-11 0-0 12; Njonkou, Amina 5-10
0-0 10; Dickey, Tasha 3-8 1-1 8; Neabors, Rheya 3-7 0-0 7; Hays, Sarah 1-2
3-4 5; McGee, Marie 1-6 0-0 2; Bofia, Beatrice 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-60 5-7
Boise State................... 33 28 - 61
Arizona....................... 27 35 - 62
3-point goals--Boise State 11-26 (Lee, Jackie 4-9; Harris, Tasha 3-5;
Thompson, Jessica 3-7; Malone, Jamia 1-3; Moeller, Sierra 0-1; Rima, Melissa
0-1), Arizona 3-11 (Dickey, Tasha 1-2; Neabors, Rheya 1-2; Whisonant, Ashley
1-4; McGee, Marie 0-3). Fouled out--Boise State-None, Arizona-None.
Rebounds--Boise State 34 (Thompson, Jessica 6), Arizona 35 (Ibekwe, Ify 11).
Assists--Boise State 13 (Lee, Jackie 4; Harris, Tasha 4), Arizona 8 (McGee,
Marie 3; Njonkou, Amina 3). Total fouls--Boise State 12, Arizona 15.
Technical fouls--Boise State-None, Arizona-None. A-950