Box Score Dec. 21, 2017
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BOISE, Idaho - Senior Shalen Shaw became the 19th Bronco to hit the 1,000-point mark as Boise State ended its non-conference slate with a 87-59 victory over St. Francis (Pa.) Thursday at Taco Bell Arena.
Shaw scored the milestone points inside the paint with 6:24 remaining, putting the Broncos up 76-49 over the Red Flash. Her 11 points in the contest leave her at exactly 1,000 for her career.
"It's amazing. I actually didn't know that I was that close, I don't really pay attention to those kinds of things. But, it is a great accomplishment," Shaw said after the game.
The Reno, Nev., native finished the night with her third double-double of the season, grabbing 10 rebounds to go with her 11 points. Junior guard Marta Hermida also posted a double-double, going for 11 points and a career high-tying 11 rebounds, as the Broncos had two players with a double-double in the same contest since Shaw (19 points, 13 rebounds) and Brooke Pahukoa (26 points, 10 rebounds) pulled the feat against San Jose State on March 4, 2016.
"I love Shay, and she's done a lot for our program. She's such a winner," said Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell. "She might not average 20 points a game, but she's won two high school state titles, been to two NCAA Tournaments in the last six years. She's just such a winner, and we're fortunate to have her in our program."
Yet it was the play off A'Shanti Coleman and Braydey Hodgins off the bench which sparked Boise State to the win that halted its two-game slide. After the Broncos went just 4-for-19 from the field and trailed St. Francis, 12-11, after the opening quarter, Coleman and Hodgins brought the offense to life, combining for 14 points and a 4-for-4 shooting effort as Boise State shot 61.5 percent (8-for-13) and outscored the Red Flash, 24-12, over the next 10 minutes.
Shaw opened the quarter with a layup to put the Broncos in front, 13-12, then Coleman and Hodgins scored the next nine points, keeping the Broncos up a pair at 22-20 with 5:09 to go before halftime. Hodgins' 3-pointer, which put the Broncos in front, started an 11-0 run which also featured triples from Shaw and Tess Amundsen and opened up a 10-point lead at 30-20. After Jessica Kovatch stopped the run with a layup 2:24 before the half, Hodgins responded with four-straight points, and Coleman answered Leah Morrow's bucket with a short jumper with 10 seconds to go, giving Boise State a 35-24 lead at the break.
Hodgins would go on to finish the night with a career-high 17 points, fueled by a career-best 4-of-6 effort from behind the arc. Coleman scored eight of her 12 points in the first half, and finished the game 5-of-7 from the field with six rebounds. Coleman also teamed with Shaw and Joyce Harrell to grab 21 of Boise State's season-high 58 rebounds.
"I thought our post players played really well. Shay, Joyce, and A'Shanti were fantastic on the boards, kept things active, and shot the ball extremely well," Presnell said.
Their play got the rest of the offense in motion, most notably guard Riley Lupfer. Lupfer, after being held scoreless on an 0-for-5 showing from the field that included three misses from 3-point range, bounced back to score a season-high 18 points and hit four 3-pointers in the second half. Once Hodgins and Coleman combined to score eight of the Broncos' first 14 points of the third quarter, putting Boise State ahead, 49-34, Lupfer stepped up, hitting a couple of treys over the period's final 3:30. Hermida also hit a pair of buckets as the Broncos broke the game open, taking a 65-44 lead into the final frame.
It marked the third time this season that the Broncos had five players score in double digits. They almost made it six, as Harrell continued her strong play of late with eight points, eight rebounds, and three steals.
"I think our team was just really together and really wanted to go into Christmas with a victory. We didn't play very well last night, and maybe let some emotions get to us down the stretch of the game," Presnell said.
St. Francis, like the Broncos playing its second game in as many days, shot just 30.0 percent (10-for-30) in the first half and couldn't keep up as Boise State heated up. Kovatch, however, did her best to keep the Red Flash in the game, scoring a game-high 26 points on 11-for-23 shooting. But, outside of Kovatch, the rest of the Red Flash went just 12-of-43 from the field, with Ace Harrison's nine points being the next highest for the team.
Boise State will now head into Mountain West play after the holiday, traveling to Fort Collins to begin conference action against Colorado State for the third time in four seasons. That game will tip off at 7 p.m. MT on Wednesday, Dec. 28.