BOISE, Idaho --
The Boise State women's basketball team concluded the non-conference season with an enthusiastic bang Wednesday night at Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos (9-2) shot a season-high 63.8-percent from the field (37-of-58) to down Southern Utah (3-6), 88-53.
The scoring output ranks third on the Boise State record book for field goal percentage in a game, while the 35-point victory is the largest victory over a Division I team since Boise State defeated San José State by 32 points last season (112-80; Jan. 24, 2018).
"I feel great about our team, and this is a great win to go out on going into Christmas," head coach Gordy Presnell
said. "I feel good about our leadership, we have some good seniors that are doing some things, a strong nucleus of juniors. It has been a good week for us. I was worried about us being flat tonight but everybody looked competitive."
Boise State concluded the non-conference season with an atypical offensive strategy for the program, relying on a balanced scoring attack that thrived in the post. A'Shanti Coleman led the team with 14 points, and was joined by Rachel Bowers (13), Joyce Harrell (12), Jade Loville (11) and Marta Hermida (11) in double figures. The 13 points from Bowers was a career-high for the freshman, as she also added a team-leading seven rebounds on the night.
"Now she is starting to realize the potential that she has," Presnell said of Bowers. "She is something that we don't have in terms of size, strength, and athleticism. Hopefully, we can just build and build and build and get her better because down the road here we are going to have some teams that are really big and thick and we are going to need her."
Shooting a season-low 14 three-point attempts, the Broncos received the majority of their scoring from their post players. 54 of Boise State's 88 points on the night came in the paint. Jayde Christopher
led the team with six assists on the night, and the Broncos finished with a season-high 25 as a team.
The impressive outing for the Broncos did not begin with the greatest start for the team. Southern Utah led 10-7 with 5:41 remaining in the first quarter, and the Broncos went into the first media timeout trailing by a point. Bowers was able to muscle her way into a hard-fought lay-in off a pass from Braydey Hodgins
for Boise State's first lead of the game, and from there the Broncos never looked back.
hit a step back jumper with 3:11 remaining in the first quarter, and Jade Loville
worked her way around the defense for a floater in the final minute to capitalize on a 12-1 run for the Broncos to end the quarter on.
Coming out of the first break of the game, Coleman drove from the top of the arc to the basket to start an impressive second quarter for Boise State. Moments later, Christopher took a pass from Coleman off a rebound, and streaked up court to the basket on the fast break. With a Southern Utah defender trailing right behind her, Christopher dumped the pass back to Loville for the easy lay-in.
The Broncos would continue their rout for the remainder of the period, shooting 61.3 percent heading into the locker room at halftime. That was the first time all season the Broncos went into the half shooting 60-percent or better from the field.
Boise State will return to action in the new year, opening Mountain West play at home against Wyoming (Jan. 2). At 9-2, this is the second time in three seasons that Boise State will enter conference play with at least nine victories.