Broncos head to Las Vegas for the ?Duel in the Desert,? Boise State opens with UNLV Wednesday night...

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM
GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

GOBRONCOSDOTCOM

What’s Happening This Week For The Broncos . . .

Boise State heads to Las Vegas for the 2006 "Duel in the Desert" featuring UNLV (3-4), Texas-San Antonio (1-7), and nationally ranked #13 Purdue (9-2). This is the third edition of the annual tournament which began in 2004 and is sponsored by UNLV and Basketball Travelers. The Broncos are scheduled to play the host school UNLV Rebels in the second game on Wednesday with tip-off scheduled to begin around 7:30 p.m. (all times are pacific) in UNLV’s Cox Pavilion which is located next to the Thomas & Mack Center. Depending on what transpires on Wednesday, Boise State will play either Purdue or UTSA on Thursday night, time is TBD. Thursday’s schedule has the consolation game tipping off at 5:00 p.m. with the championship game starting around 7:30 p.m. or 30 minutes following the conclusion of the first game. Boise State has never played any of the three schools joining them at the Duel in the Desert prior to this tournament.

What’s Happened Lately For Boise State (7-3 ) . . .

Boise State has not played since Sunday, November 10, taking last week off for semester finals. The Broncos have a four-game win streak going entering the tournament with homes wins over San Diego (47-29) and Denver (70-65), followed by their first road sweep in two years with wins at UC Davis (58-56) on December 8 and at San Francisco (80-58) on December 10. Their 7-3 record is the best start to a season after ten games in 13 years. It is the best record since the 1993-94 team, which advanced to the NCAA tournament, went 8-2 to open their season.

Who To Watch For The Broncos . . .

Boise State has two players averaging double-figure points led by sophomore guard Jessica Thompson at 12.8 points per game (WAC 12th) to go with 4.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.5 steals (WAC 3rd) per game. In 10 games, she has recorded seven games in double-figure points with a season high 25 points at Oregon on November 24. Michelle Hessing, a senior center out of Boise, averages 11.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks (WAC t-2nd) per game. The senior captain recorded a career high 22 points against Pittsburgh November 25 in Eugene. Sophomore point guard Tasha Harris is third in scoring at 9.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 2.8 assists (WAC 7th) per game. On the glass, senior Jackie Thompson leads the team at 5.8 rebounds (WAC 11th) per game, followed by sophomore Rebecca Kepilino with 5.6 rpg (WAC 13th) and Hessing’s 5.3 rpg.

Offensively As A Team . . .

Boise State is an up-tempo team who looks to push the ball up the floor. The Broncos enter the tournament with the WAC’s second ranked scoring offense averaging 65.7 points per game while shooting 38.9 percent (WAC 3rd) from the floor, 25.3 percent (42-of-166) from beyond the arc, and 68.1 percent (141-of-207) from the foul line. On the boards Boise State averages 40.8 rebounds per game to rank third in the WAC. They are a plus 6.5 (WAC 1st) in scoring margin, plus 3.8 (WAC 1st) in rebounding margin, and plus 3.0 (WAC 2nd) in turnover margin.

Defensively As A Team . . .

Defensively, Boise State features the top ranked scoring defense in the WAC allowing a league low 59.2 points per game. They have also held their opponents to 38.6 percent shooting (WAC 4th) from the hardwood and 32.7 percent (49-of-150) from long range. The Broncos also possess the top rebounding defense in the league holding opponents to 37.0 rebounds per game. Boise State forces 17.9 turnovers per game in comparison to their giving it away 14.9 times per game, ranking first in the WAC and 29th nationally (as of 12/10/06) for fewest turnovers per game.

What’s Back From 2005-06 . . .

Coach Presnell enters his second year at Boise State. The Broncos made an immediate improvement under the new coach’s leadership in his first season in 2005-06 going 15-15 overall, 6-10 in league action to place sixth, and advanced to the conference tournament’s semifinals. It was the first non-losing season for the Broncos in six seasons and the highest conference finish since the program joined the league for the 2001-02 campaign.

Boise State returns every impact player from last year’s squad including four starters, nine letterwinners, and a redshirt sophomore. Among the returners are the top five scorers and rebounders from a squad that scored the most points in eight years with 1,984 points (66.1 points per game) and set a school record for team rebounds in a season with 1,252. The Broncos return 90.5 percent of their points, 86.7 percent of the rebounds, 83.7 percent of the assists, and their entire scoring punch from outside the three-point arc. Boise State has led the league in three-point percentage in three of their first five seasons of membership including the last two years.


SCOUTING GAME 11: UNLV (3-4, MWC 0-0)

The Series’ History: This will be the first meeting ever between Boise State and UNLV. However, the Broncos are 18-26 all-time against current members of the Mountain West Conference.

What Has Happened Lately For UNLV . . .

The Rebels have not played since Dec. 9 when they defeated Long Beach State 61-44 on the road. Prior to that victory they lost at Southern Utah 56-52 on Dec. 2. Their other two wins came in Las Vegas over Cal State Bakersfield (60-52) on Nov. 20 and Elon (70-40) on Nov. 24. They also have loses to Big Ten Conference members Michigan (68-58) and Wisconsin (67-51). They host UC Irvine Tuesday night prior to the Boise State matchup.

Who To Watch For UNLV . . .

Sequoia Holmes is the only Rebel averaging double-digit points at 16.6 points per game to go with 6.9 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Shamela Hampton is second in scoring at 9.4 points per game, while Faye Muller leads UNLV on the glass averaging 9.7 rebounds per game along with 6.1 points.

UNLV As A Team . . .

Offensively, the Rebels average 56.3 points per game while shooting 38.8 percent from the floor, 22.5 percent (20-of-89) from behind the arc, and 54.3 percent (76-of-140) from the foul line. Defensively, UNLV allows 54.9 points per game while their opponents have shot 39 percent from the hard wood and 22 percent (22-of-100) from three-point range. On the boards the Rebels have out rebounded their opponents 37.7 rebounds per game to 37.4. While they have turned the ball over 19 times per game they are a plus 1.3 in turnover margin forcing their opponents into 20.3 turnovers per game.

More About UNLV . . .

UNLV returns two starters and seven letterwinners from last year’s 18-12 team that went 9-7 in the Mountain West to finish in sixth place and advance to the first round of the WNIT. Regina Miller is in her ninth season at UNLV where she is 156-92 overall, her all-time collegiate head coaching record is 216-192 in 14 plus years. UNLV was picked sixth in the MWC during 2006-07 by the league’s coaches.


GAME 12, Thursday: Versus either #13 Purdue or Texas-San Antonio (UTSA)

 

SCOUTING GAME 12: #13 Purdue (9-2, Big Ten 0-0)

The Series’ History: This will be the first meeting ever between Boise State and Purdue. However, the Broncos are 1-4 all-time against current members of the Big Ten Conference.

What Has Happened Lately For Purdue . . .

The Boilermakers are the only team of the four at the "Duel in the Desert" to compete last week. Purdue won their only game last week defeating Mississippi State 75-49 on Dec. 16 at home, preceded by a 81-38 road victory at Butler on the Dec. 10. Their only loses on the year are to national powers Connecticut (66-55) on Nov. 30 and Notre Dame (67-58) on Dec. 6, both were road games. Among their wins are impressive victories over NC State (68-38), Washington (88-64), and Baylor (69-55).

Who To Watch For Purdue . . .

The Boilermakers have three players averaging double-figure points starting with Katie Gearlds at 16.6 points per game to go with 5.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists. Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton is second in scoring at 15.5 ppg but leads the team on the glass at 8.5 rebounds per game, followed by Erin Lawless who contributes 11.7 ppg and 6.2 rpg.

Purdue As A Team . . .

Offensively, Purdue averages 70.9 points per game and shoots 46.7 percent (18th nationally) from the floor, 38.3 percent (64-of-167) from the three-point arc, and 77.3 percent (136-of-176) from the free throw line. They are ranked 18th nationally for scoring margin at +18.5 per game. Defensively, the Boilermakers feature the 13th ranked scoring defense in the nation allowing 52.4 points per game, while holding teams to 32.4 percent (8th nationally) shooting from the floor and 27.8 percent (63-of-227) from beyond the arc. On the boards they are a +2.4 in rebound margin averaging 38.0 per game. They have committed an average of 17.4 turnovers per game while forcing 19.6.

More About Purdue . . .

Purdue returns three starters and eight letterwinners from last year’s 26-7 team that went 13-3 in the Big Ten to place second, and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Sharon Versyp is in her seventh season at Purdue where she has gone 126-67, that is also her career coaching record. The Boilermakers were picked to place second in the 2006-07 Big Ten race by both the league’s coaches and media.

 

SCOUTING GAME 12: Texas-San Antonio (1-7, SC 0-0)

The Series’ History: This will be the first meeting ever between Boise State and UTSA. The Broncos are 0-3 all-time against current members of the Southland Conference.

What Has Happened Lately For UTSA . . .

The Roadrunners took last week off and have not played since Dec. 8 when they lost 77-66 at home to Cal State Bakersfield. Prior to that they lost at Arkansas-Little Rock (65-48) on Dec. 2. Their lone win of the year came against Eastern Washington (77-67) at the UTSA Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 24.

Who To Watch For UTSA . . .

UTSA has three players averaging double-figure points led by Vivian Ewalefo at 15.8 points per game and a team high 7.3 rebounds. Terrie Davis is second in scoring at 11.5 ppg followed by Monica Gibbs with 11.0 ppg.

UTSA As A Team . . .

Offensively, the Roadrunners average 58.1 points per game while shooting 36.5 percent from the hardwood, 27 percent (31-of-115) from beyond the three-point arc, and 75.9 percent (120-of-158) from the charity stripe. Defensively, they have allowed 70.4 points per game. The opposition has shot 42.9 percent from the court and 38.6 percent (44-of-114) from long range. UTSA has been dominated on the boards 33.8 rebounds per game to 40.5 rpg, and are a -6.7 in rebound margin.

More About UTSA . . .

UTSA returns three starters and eight letterwinners from last season’s squad that went 18-12 overall and 11-5 in conference play to place third. Rae Rippetoe-Blair is in her seventh season at UTSA where she is 100-81, her all-time coaching record is 207-125 in 10 plus seasons. The league’s coaches picked the Roadrunners to place third in the Southland Conference’s West Division in 2006-07 .