BOISE, Idaho -
Boise State got back in the win column Friday night, riding a 17-8 second quarter to a 67-55 win over Eastern Washington at Taco Bell Arena.
A'Shanti Coleman made her first five shots and finished 7-for-9 for a team-high 16 points, while Braydey Hodgins hit her first three 3-point attempts and finished with 14 to pace the Bronco offense. The pair combined for seven of Boise State's 17 points in a second quarter in which Boise State (6-2) outscored the Eagles, 17-8, to open up a 10-point halftime lead.
"I was really pleased with A'shanti Coleman and Braydey Hodgins tonight. I thought both of them played very, very well," said Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell. "A'shanti kept balls alive and she was really good on the press, and she hit 16 points as well. Brady ran the show, she played like a seasoned person. She even called some plays out there and got us in the good sets."
Coleman and Hodgins led four Broncos scoring in double figures, as Riley Lupfer netted 11 and Joyce Harrel 10, while Marta Hermida just missed joining the group, finishing with nine. It was a strong bounce-back for the Broncos after suffering a 95-71 loss at Washington State last Saturday.
"After this full week of practice, we had some improvements to make. After a loss to a Pac-12 team, we all were just excited to put forth the effort after we took a lot of criticism from the coaches by watching film and getting in and putting it on the court today," Coleman said.
The first quarter was one of runs as the Broncos and Eagles (1-6) alternated 7-0 bursts over the opening 4:33, with Boise State holding the 14-7 edge. After trading points to keep it a seven-point game at 16-9, Eastern Washington took advantage of Boise State's quarter-ending 0-for-5 spell, scoring the final six points of the frame to pull to within one at 16-15.
Boise State would heat up just enough to create a new cushion as the second quarter opened, hitting four of its first seven from the field, including a pair of layups from Coleman, to open a 25-17 lead. Marta Hermida
would follow up a Riley Lupfer
layup with her second 3-pointer of the frame with 4:55 to go before halftime, getting the Bronco lead to 13 at 30-17. Hodgins would add a triple of her own with 2:19 left in the half to cap an eight-point effort over the first 20 minutes.
The Bronco defense helped make up for an offense which went 7-for-24 to close the half after opening the game 6-for-9. Paced by Coleman's career-high five steals, the Bronco defense made 11 on the night, and held the Eagles to just 29.6 percent (8-for-27) from the field over the opening 20 minutes.
The lead would get to as many as 16 with 3:56 to go in the third before another Bronco cold spell allowed the Eagles to close the gap. After Coleman scored on the fast break to put the Broncos up 48-32, Boise State scored just one point and went 0-for-8 the rest of the frame. Eastern Washington's Alissa Sealby scored all five of her points in the Eagles' 9-1 quarter-ending run as they cut the Bronco lead to 49-41 going into the final quarter.
Jessica McDowell-White, who led the Eagles with 15 points on the night, scored Eastern Washington's first four points of the fourth while Violet Kapri Morrow followed with a bucket of her own to keep it a seven-point game at 57-50 with 6:50 to play. But the Bronco offense would wake up, as Coleman scored four-straight points followed by a fast-break up-and-under layup from Hodgins to get the lead back to 13 at 63-50 within a span of just 1:06. Spanish redshirt freshman Sofía Galerón scored four-straight points over the final three minutes to help put the game to bed.
"It speaks volumes for our team and what we can accomplish the rest of the season," Hodgins said about the Broncos' depth and contributions. "With all those bodies being rotated and all those people capable of making plays it really helps us fatigue-wise so we are fresher down the stretch of the season."
Boise State heads to Seattle for the Husky Classic next Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 15-16. The Broncos open action Saturday at 5 p.m. MT against St. Francis (Pa.), and depending on results, will face either Washington or Montana in Sunday's finale.