Box Score Feb. 17, 2018
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USAFA, Colo. - Riley Lupfer scored 11 of her 15 points in the second quarter Saturday at Air Force, and A'Shanti Coleman scored a career-high 16 points as Boise State outscored the Falcons, 21-6, in the frame to take control en route to a 58-47 victory.
Lupfer's effort, which included three 3-pointers in the quarter, was bolstered by six points and five rebounds from Coleman in the first half, five points from Braydey Hodgins, and two points in six second-quarter minutes from sophomore Emerald Toth, who stepped in with Shalen Shaw and Joyce Harrell in early foul trouble.
Coleman would go on to post career highs in points (16) and rebounds (nine) as she was pivotal in the Broncos (17-9, 11-4 MW) pulling away, scoring 10 of her points in the second half.
"We played a great second quarter, I thought we defended really well. Riley hit some big shots for us, and then in the second half, Shay and A'Shanti did a really nice job," said Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell. "It's a great team win, and now we really move down into the home stretch of the season with just three games to go and a huge game this Wednesday against Colorado State."
Coleman would open the game with a bucket, but the Broncos would suffer a scoring drought of 4:48 while Air Force (2-23, 2-12 MW) scored 10-straight points to take a 10-2 lead. Kaelin Immel, who scored 13 points in the contest to lead Air Force, had seven as the Falcons stretched their lead to 14-4 with 3:23 to go in the first quarter.
"I think that by running hard and getting rebounds on the defensive end, [it] had my teammates looking for me. Marta [Hermida] will tell me that if I run hard, she'll look for me," Coleman said of her performance.
Boise State would get up off the mat beginning with Lupfer's jumper, which started a quarter-ending stretch in which the Broncos went 3-for-5 from the field and outscored the Falcons, 8-4, over the final 3:02. Hodgins closed the Broncos to within 18-12 with a three-point play to close the frame.
That would carry over into the second quarter, as Hodgins' layup started a 9-2 Bronco run which gave Boise State a 21-20 lead. Toth, seeing time after Shaw and Harrell picked up two fouls apiece early, put the Broncos in front with a short shot off glass with 6:25 to go in the frame. Air Force would take the lead one final time at 22-21 moments later, but Lupfer would heat up, hitting two treys and scoring eight-straight Bronco points to fuel a 12-2, half-ending run. Tess Amundsen would finish the half with a pair of free throws to give Boise State a 33-24 lead at the break.
Coleman scored the first six Bronco points of the second half as the lead stretched to 11 at 39-28 with 5:27 on the clock. Boise State also benefited from the return of Shaw, who, after going without a point nor rebound over just six foul-plagued minutes of the first half, scored six points and grabbed five boards over the final 20 minutes. Her 3-pointer with 25 seconds to go in the third brought the Bronco lead to 12 at 46-34.
Shaw's layup to start the fourth quarter started an 8-2 run that gave Boise State its largest lead of the game at 54-38 with 6:13 to play. From there, the Bronco defense took over, as the Falcons missed their final six field-goal attempts.
For the game, the Broncos limited the Falcons to just 30.8-percent shooting, while Air Force went just 14-for-53, including 1-for-9 from 3-point range, after opening the contest by hitting four of its first six attempts.
The win also improved the Broncos to 6-2 on the road in Mountain West play, just one victory away from matching its program best of seven over the 1991-92 Big Sky campaign.
"I don't know if we focus better on the road or what, but we've performed very well, and together, on the road. These have been good team wins. Now we have two home games, so I hope we can take care of business at home," Presnell said.
Boise State, just a half-game out of first place in the Mountain West, will play two of its final three regular-season games at home, beginning Wednesday as it hosts Colorado State for a 7 p.m. tip.