Washington State Game Week

Women's Basketball Courtesy: Boise State Athletics

Broncos Head To The Palouse Saturday

Boise State (5-1) at Washington State (2-4)
Saturday, Dec. 1 • 2 p.m. MT
Pullman, Wash. • Beasley Coliseum
Series: Tied, 19-19
Last Meeting: Washington State 61, Boise State 53 - Boise, Idaho
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BOISE, Idaho - Boise State plays its first true road game of the 2018-19 campaign this Saturday, traveling to Pullman to face Washington State (2-4).

LAST TIME OUT: Boise State won the 2018 Beach Classic title in Long Beach over Thanksgiving Weekend, going 2-0 with wins over in-state rival Idaho (91-85) and Northern Iowa (61-60).

Riley Lupfer was named the Beach Classic MVP after averaging a team-high 14.5 points and hitting five 3-pointers, including the go-ahead triple with 1:27 to play Saturday against Northern Iowa. Jayde Christopher was named to the All-Tournament Team, averaging 11.5 points and 3.00 assists a game while shooting 52.6 percent (10-for-19) from the field.

Ellie Woerner scored a career-high 23 points and Braydey Hodgins also scored 23 in Friday's win over Idaho.

WHO'S NEXT: The Broncos head to Pullman to face Washington State (2-4) for the fourth-straight season. Saturday's game will tip at 2 p.m. MT.

The Cougars have won two of their last three after an 0-3 start to the campaign, with wins over Nebraska and Jacksonville State. Borislava Hristova leads the Cougs with 21.0 poins per game, shooting 45.7 percent from the field, while Maria Kostourkova leads the team with 10.8 rebounds a game.

Washington State plays once before Saturday's meeting, hosting San Francisco Thursday night.

SECOND-HALF COMEBACKS: Boise State came back from a pair of second-half deficits in Long Beach, first overcoming a 47-44 hole against Idaho, then turning around a 36-32 deficit the next day against Northern Iowa.

Saturday's comeback against the Panthers was notable because the Broncos trailed by six, 58-52, with 5:32 to go, before outscoring Northern Iowa, 9-2, the rest of the way.

Last season, the Broncos came back to win five times after trailing at halftime.

CHRISTOPHER TAKES OVER: Redshirt junior point guard Jayde Christopher showed this weekend in Long Beach why the Bronco coaches were excited for her to be eligible this season after sitting out 2017-18 due to NCAA transfer rules.

Christopher, a transfer from Kansas, averaged 11.5 points and 3.00 assists while shooting 52.6 percent (10-for-19) from the field over the two wins, and was named to the Beach Classic All-Tournament Team. She was key to Saturday's comeback win over Northern Iowa, scoring 13 points and drawing the key unsportsmanlike foul with 1:54 to play which sparked Boise State's 5-0 sequence that turned a 58-54 deficit into a 59-58 lead.

HERMIDA LOCKS 'EM DOWN: Senior guard Marta Hermida may be averaging 10.2 points per game and shooting 53.7 percent this season, but don't let that distract you from her calling card: her defense.

Hermida's lockdown defense was key to Boise State's two comeback wins in Long Beach. Friday against Idaho, Hermida was assigned to cover Idaho's Mikayla Ferenz for the second half, after Ferenz had lit up the Broncos for 28 first-half points. Hermida excelled, holding Ferenz to just two points on 1-for-8 shooting over the second half.

Saturday, Hermida was called upon once again to cool off an opposing player, as she drew Northern Iowa's Karli Rucker for the fourth quarter after Rucker scored 20 points through the first three quarters. With Hermida covering her every move, Rucker went 0-for-5 from the field and scored her only two points of the fourth quarter from the line, as the Broncos held the Panthers to just seven points in the frame.

BACK-AND-FORTH WITH THE COUGS: Saturday's meeting between Boise State and Washington State will be the fourth in four seasons, and the recent results reflect the deadlocked (19-19) all-time series.

The teams have split the last six meetings, trading wins and losses, although Boise State has won the last two games in Pullman, beating the Cougs, 71-64, on Dec. 9, 2007, and grabbing a 77-73 overtime win on Dec. 4, 2016.

QUEENS OF THE PALOUSE?: With a 91-85 victory over Idaho in the books, Boise State can declare itself queens of The Palouse should it come away with a win this Saturday at Washington State.

LUPFER HEATING UP: Junior guard Riley Lupfer leads the Broncos with 11.7 points per game, but is shooting just 30.0 percent from deep a season after hitting a school- and conference-record 122 triples.

Lupfer showed that she's warming up from deep in Saturday's win over Northern Iowa, hitting four 3-pointers, including one with 1:27 to play that put Boise State up for good over the Panthers. Her performance over the weekend, during which she averaged 14.5 points, led to her being named the Beach Classic MVP.

WOERNER'S CAREER DAY: Redshirt junior guard Ellie Woerner highlighted her recent run of solid play with a career performance Nov. 23 against Idaho, scoring a career-high 23 points off the bench while going 5-for-8 from the field, 4-of-6 from deep, and 9-for-11 from the free throw line.

It highlighted a three-game stretch in which Woerner has played some of her best basketball in a Boise State uniform, as she averaged 14.3 points and shot 57.1 percent (12-for-21) and 70.0 percent (7-for-10) from 3-point range against Northwest Christian, No. 5/4 Louisville, and Idaho.
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