What’s Happening This Week For The Broncos . . .
Boise State wraps up the non-conference portion of the schedule this weekend when they host in-state rival Idaho State (3-7) in a double-header with the two men’s teams. The women tipoff at 1:00 p.m. followed by the men’s game at 3:30 p.m. Boise State won it’s 499th victory in program history last week at UNLV and can claim the 500th this Saturday against the Bengals. Boise State’s all-time program record is 499-431 (.537).
About This Gem State Rivalry . . .
This is the oldest rivalry, in terms of years and times played, for the Boise State women dating back 1971. Saturday’s encounter will be the 59th meeting in the series which Boise State has dominated through the years leading 40-18. The two programs have played at least once every year except in 1974 and 1976. In 1988 they played five times, the most meetings against one school during a single season in program history. Boise State has won the last two encounters including a hard fought 91-89 double-overtime win last year in Pocatello. They have split the last 10 games in the series.
What’s Happened Lately For Boise State (8-4 ) . . .
The Broncos went 1-1 last week at the "Duel in the Desert" in Las Vegas, Nevada where they defeated the host school UNLV 76-63 in the opener on Dec. 20 before falling 80-64 to #13 Purdue in the championship game on Dec. 21. Tasha Harris and Jessica Thompson were named to the all-tournament team in Las Vegas. Harris recorded a season high 21 points against UNLV and on the week averaged 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 24 minutes of action per game. Thompson averaged 13.5 points, 1.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, and 1.0 steals in 27.5 minutes per game. Senior Nadia Begay averaged 11.0 points per game, while classmate Michelle Hessing contributed 10.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game.
Boise State’s Harris Named WAC Women’s Basketball Player Of The Week . . .
Boise State’s Tasha Harris has been named the Western Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 25. This is the first WAC Player of the Week honor for the sophomore in her career. Harris’ honor is the second of the season for Boise State as she joins teammate Michelle Hessing who was named player of the week for Dec. 11.
Harris, a guard from Longmont, Colo. (Sklyline) started both games for Boise State at point guard last week when it competed at the "Duel In The Desert" in Las Vegas, Nev. where the Broncos went 1-1. The sophomore scored a season-high 21 points to lead the Broncos to an upset of host UNLV 76-63 in the opener then followed that with 12 points in a loss against No. 13 Purdue in the tournament championship game. She shot 55.6 percent (5-of-9) from the floor against the Lady Rebels and went 10-of-14 (71.4 pct.) from the free throw line as Boise State defeated their first Mountain West school in two years. Last week, Harris shot 44.4 percent from the floor, 33.3 percent from three-point range, and 77.8 percent from the charity stripe. She averaged 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists in 24 minutes of action per game. Harris was one of two Broncos named to the "Duel in the Desert" all-tournament team.
Who To Watch For The Broncos . . .
Boise State has three players averaging double-figure points led by sophomore guard Jessica Thompson at 12.9 points per game (12th in WAC) to go with 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.3 steals (6th in WAC) per game. In 12 games, she has recorded nine games in double-figure points with a season high 25 at Oregon on Nov. 24. Michelle Hessing, a senior center out of Boise, averages 11.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks (2nd in WAC) per game. The senior captain recorded a career high 22 points against Pittsburgh Nov. 25 in Eugene. Sophomore point guard Tasha Harris is third in scoring at 10.8 points to go with 3.4 rebounds, and 2.8 assists (7th in WAC) per game. On the glass, senior Jackie Thompson and sophomore Rebecca Kepilino lead the team with 5.4 rebounds per game (t-15th in WAC) apiece.
Offensively As A Team . . .
Boise State is an up-tempo team who looks to push the ball up the floor. The Broncos enter the week with the WAC’s second ranked scoring offense averaging 66.4 points per game while shooting 38.7 percent (4th in WAC) from the floor, 26.9 percent (56-of-208) from beyond the arc, and 69.1 percent (177-of-256) from the foul line. On the boards Boise State averages 40.2 rebounds per game to rank third in the WAC. They are a plus 5.2 (1st in WAC) in scoring margin, plus 2.8 (2nd in WAC) in rebounding margin, and plus 2.6 (3rd in WAC) in turnover margin.
Defensively As A Team . . .
Defensively, Boise State features the top ranked scoring defense in the WAC allowing a league low 61.2 points per game. They have also hold their opponents to 39.4 percent shooting (5th in WAC) from the hardwood and 34.4 percent (62-of-180) from long range. The Broncos also possess the second ranked rebounding defense in the league holding opponents to 37.4 rebounds per game. Boise State forces 17.7 turnovers per game in comparison to their giving it away 15.1 times per game, ranking first in the WAC and 27th nationally (as of 12/18/06, last rankings released) for fewest turnovers per game.
SCOUTING GAME 13: Idaho State (3-7, Big Sky 0-0)
What Has Happened Lately For Idaho State . . .
Idaho State has won two straight games and three of the their last four. ISU defeated Montana Tech (102-59) on Dec. 16 and Montana-Western (102-64) on Dec. 20 at home. They also have a 87-75 win over Kent State of the Mid-American Conference on Dec. 8. They have lost seven games to date including games on the road to WAC members Utah State (85-83) and Nevada (75-58).
Who To Watch For Idaho State . . .
The Bengals have two players averaging double-figure scoring this year. Natalie Doma leads the team at 19.5 points per game to go with a team high 8.8 rebounds per game. Andrea Lightfoot is second in scoring at 15.8 points per game, she also averages 5.2 rebounds.
Idaho State As A Team . . .
Offensively, Idaho State averages 74.4 points per game and allows 76.9. The Bengals have shot 44.6 percent from the floor, 35.6 percent (84-of-236) from behind the arc, and 75.5 percent from the charity stripe. Their opponents have shot 42.3 percent from the field and 35.4 percent (84-0f-237) from beyond the three-point line. ISU is a negative 1.6 in rebound margin averaging 37.9 boards per game compared to their opponents 39.5 rpg.
More About Idaho State . . .
ISU returns four starters and seven letterwinners from last year’s Big Sky championship team that went 17-13 overall and 11-3 in league. Their head coach is Jon Newlee. He is in his fifth year at Idaho State where he is 59-65 all-time. The Bengals were picked to repeat as conference champions this season by the league’s coaches.