Boise State downs Idaho State 78-74 in a classic battle at Pocatello...

POCATELLO, Idaho (12/29/07) - Boise State and Idaho State went toe-to-toe Saturday afternoon in Pocatello where the Broncos outlasted the Bengals 78-74 in a classic hard fought basketball game. Jessica Thompson scored a game high 21 points to lead Boise State to their fourth consecutive win over instate rival Idaho State. It was the final non-conference game for the Broncos who open their Western Athletic Conference title defense next week in Fresno, Calif.

Boise State opened the game with a 13-5 run and held the lead for most of the game. However, Idaho State continually rallied each time the Broncos opened up a large lead to claim occasional two-point leads of their own. The Bengals closed the Broncos initial eight-point lead early in the first half to claim their first advantage on a pair of Bianca Cheever free throws at the 6:18 mark of the opening 20-minutes with the score reading 21-20.

Down one, Boise State reclaimed the lead at 24-22 less than a minute later on four straight points from Jenna Galassi. The first period ended with the teams trading the lead seven times before the Broncos claimed a one point, 34-33, edge at the intermission powered by 10 Jessica Thompson points.

The second half was no different than the first with the two teams pushing the ball up and down the floor. The Bengals reclaimed the lead early in the second period on a 3-pointer by Natalie Doma from the top of the arc making the score 36-34 20 seconds into the half. After Boise State tied the score at 36-36 on a Tasha Harris layup a minute later, Idaho State took their final lead of the game when Andrea Lightfoot hit two free throws with 18:11 showing on the clock and the score at 38-36.

Down two points, Boise State responded with high pressure and quick counter attacks rolling off a 12-1 run to claim a 11 point, 50-39, advantage with 14:52 to play. The two teams then traded mini runs as the Bronco lead fluctuated between seven and 11 points. After Idaho State had cut the Bronco lead to seven at the 13:26 mark, Boise State pushed their advantage to 12 points at 65-53, the largest lead of the game, with 10:33 left.

The Broncos managed to maintain a six to 10 point lead until the final five and a half minutes when Idaho State began their final rally attempt. Boise State led 74-64 with 5:27 to play. The Bengals battled back to within three points, 74-71, with three minutes remaining. Boise State then pushed the lead back to five points when Jessica Thompson converted on two free throws with 23 seconds to play.

With 1,395 fans standing and cheering on their Bengals, ISU’s Andrea Lightfoot nailed a 3-pointer from the right side to cut Boise State’s lead to two points, 76-74, with 14 seconds to go. Following a timeout by Idaho State, the Broncos’ in bounded the ball and passed it to Jackie Lee at the mid-court stripe. The WAC’s third ranked free throw shooter was immediately swarmed by the Bengals and fouled with nine seconds left in regulation.

With the Broncos up two points, Lee, who was shooting 78.6 percent from the line entering the game, stepped up to the line and nailed the front end of the one-and-one. Moments later she drained the second giving Boise State a four point lead. Idaho State’s last second shot missed at the buzzer as the Broncos came away with the thrilling 78-74 win.

On the day, Boise State shot a solid 44.4 percent (32-72) from the floor, 36.8 percent (7-19) from beyond the arc, but struggled from the line hitting 58.3 percent (7-12) of their limited free throw attempts. The Broncos also dished out a season high 21 assists during the game with a career high 10 from Harris, tied for third most all-time. Idaho State shot 38.5 percent (26-65) from the court and an impressive 44.8 percent (13-29) from 3-point range. The Bengals entered the game leading the nation in free throw percentage at 85.4 percent. Saturday they managed to make 68.8 percent (11-16) against the Broncos. ISU’s Lightfoot missed one free throw at the 10:07 mark of the second half to snap a streak of 30 consecutive makes, she was hitting 90.3 percent (56-62) from the charity stripe entering the contest.

Boise State was led by three players in double figure points. Jessica Thompson scored a team high 21 points to go with four rebounds, two assists, and four steals. Senior forward Jackie Lee just missed a double-double with a season high 17 points and nine rebounds, followed by Tasha Harris’ double-double on 13 points and 10 assists to go with her six rebounds, and three steals. Jenna Galassi also recorded a season high for points with eight along with four rebounds. Senior center Amanda Stewart added eight points and six boards, followed by six points and three rebounds from Sierra Moeller.

Idaho State was led by their dynamic senior duo of Natalie Doma and Andrea Lightfoot. There was no stopping ISU’s Doma, ranked fourth nationally for scoring and rebounding, as she recorded a double-double on 27 points and 20 rebounds. Lightfoot added 16 points, followed by Bianca Cheevers with 10 points of her own.

The win in Boise State’s final non-conference game improves them to 8-4 overall. They are also 4-0 against teams (Montana, Oral Roberts, Washington, and ISU) that played in the postseason last year. Idaho State who is also experiencing a good season dropped to 8-4 on the year. Up next, the Broncos open the defense of their 2007 Western Athletic Conference championship with three consecutive road games beginning at Fresno State next Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. (Pacific).


Newspaper Box Score
Boise State vs Idaho State
12/29/07 2:05 PM at Reed Gym (Pocatello, ID)

Thompson, Jessica 8-15 3-6 21; Lee, Jackie 5-11 4-5 17; Harris, Tasha 6-11
0-0 13; Galassi, Jenna 4-11 0-1 8; Stewart, Amanda 4-9 0-0 8; Moeller,
Sierra 3-5 0-0 6; Rima, Melissa 1-5 0-0 3; Walker, Ja'Lara 1-2 0-0 2; Moore,
Brittany 0-1 0-0 0; Malone, Jamia 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 32-72 7-12 78.

Doma, Natalie 9-19 5-7 27; Lightfoot, Andrea 5-12 2-3 16; Cheever, Bianca
3-10 2-2 10; Diehl, Devin 3-8 0-0 8; Brown, Jenna 3-7 1-1 8; Grohs, Michelle
2-4 1-1 5; Videbeck, Andrea 0-3 0-2 0; Fager, Kaylynn 0-2 0-0 0. Totals
25-65 11-16 74.

Boise State...................   34   44  -   78
Idaho State...................   33   41  -   74

3-point goals--Boise State 7-19 (Lee, Jackie 3-6; Thompson, Jessica 2-5;
Rima, Melissa 1-3; Harris, Tasha 1-2; Malone, Jamia 0-1; Moeller, Sierra
0-1; Galassi, Jenna 0-1), Idaho State 13-29 (Lightfoot, Andrea 4-7; Doma,
Natalie 4-5; Diehl, Devin 2-6; Cheever, Bianca 2-6; Brown, Jenna 1-2; Fager,
Kaylynn 0-1; Grohs, Michelle 0-2). Fouled out--Boise State-None, Idaho
State-None. Rebounds--Boise State 49 (Lee, Jackie 9), Idaho State 36 (Doma,
Natalie 20). Assists--Boise State 21 (Harris, Tasha 10), Idaho State 17
(Diehl, Devin 5). Total fouls--Boise State 17, Idaho State 13. Technical
fouls--Boise State-None, Idaho State-None. A-1395


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