Late Lead Slips Away From Broncos
Nov. 30, 2017

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BOISE, Idaho - For the second time this season, Boise State took a double-digit lead into the fourth quarter, but for the second time, the Broncos let it slip away, falling 74-72 to Saint Mary's Thursday night at Taco Bell Arena.

After losing a 14-point lead to start the final period against Northern Arizona back on Nov. 19 in Honolulu, the Broncos carried a 10-point advantage over the Gaels Thursday, leading 64-54. But, just as against the Lumberjacks, Boise State went cold from the field, making just two field goals over the final 10 minutes, as the Gaels won the period, 20-8, capped by a free throw apiece from Stella Beck and Jasmine Forcadilla. The Broncos had two separate possessions to take the lead, but Marta Hermida's 3-pointer fell short with 19 seconds to play and the Broncos down 73-72, and her runner with a second to go missed following Forcadilla's free throw.

Boise State (2-3) shot just 2-for-15 in the fourth quarter, getting it's final field goal on a layup by Marijke Vanderschaaf with 2:46 to play that put the Broncos in front, 68-66. After the Gaels tied it up on a jumper from Sydney Raggio, who finished the night with 10 points and 14 rebounds, Hermida hit a pair of free throws to give the Broncos their final lead of the night, at 70-68, with 1:59 to play.

Raggio again tied it up for the Gaels, this time with a layup, and after Braydey Hodgins missed a pair of free throws on the Bronco end, Saint Mary's took the lead on Forcadilla's jumper with 1:10 to go. Boise State would tie it briefly at 72-72 following free throws from A'Shanti Coleman, but Beck's free throw with 45 seconds to play gave Saint Mary's the lead for good.

After the teams traded baskets to open the final period, Saint Mary's (5-1) went on a 10-0 run over a span of six minutes, with Vanderschaaf's layup finally breaking the Bronco drought. The Gaels used 11 points from Forcadilla in the period, and five during the 10-0 run, to get back into the contest. Forcadilla would finish the night with 14 points.

"I thought we played really hard, and I thought that we got better today. The fourth quarter is just one of those things where we're inexperienced. we've had two players take over the fourth quarter for four years, that aren't here anymore," said Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell. "We've got to find somebody who can produce, and execute and perform in the fourth quarter. When we do that I think we'll have a pretty good team."

Gael post Megan McKay went 4-for-4 from the line in the fourth quarter to help the Gaels, and for the night led all scorers with 27 points on 8-of-14 shooting, and a 11-for-17 showing from the line.

Boise State overcame an early 16-10 deficit in the first quarter, as four different Broncos scored over a 9-2 run that gave them a 19-18 lead after the opening frame. Saint Mary's would fight back to take a 25-22 lead with 7:06 left in the half, but the Broncos would again make a run, outscoring the Gaels, 14-6, the rest of the half to take a 39-31 lead. Riley Lupfer hit a key 3-pointer while A'Shanti Coleman's three-point play with 1:21 to go in the half put the Broncos up, 37-31. On the half's final possession, Coleman had her 3-point attempt blocked, but right into the hands of Brooke Wheeler, who turned around and banked in a buzzer-beating shot.

Lupfer scored 13 points in the half to help spark the Broncos, but only scored two more points, each coming on free throws, in the second half. Ellie Woerner, meanwhile, put up her best line of the season, finishing with 13 points, five rebounds, and six assists.

Boise State led by as many as 14 in the third quarter, taking a 49-35 lead on Joyce Harrell's jumper with 7:08 to go in the frame. Saint Mary's would pull to within five at 54-49 as Stella Beck, who finished the night with 13 points and 10 assists, scored eight points over a span of 4:44, but the Broncos answered with a triple from the returning Hodgins en route to a 10-5 run to end the quarter.

"The one thing that can come out of this is that we're capable of competing with a good team. Right now we're capable of competing with a good team for about three-and-a-half quarters, but we've got to be able to finish a game off," Presnell said.

Boise State heads out onto the road this weekend, facing Eastern Washington Sunday at 2 p.m. MT in Cheney.

Boise State Postgame Quotes

Head Coach Gordy Presnell
On the game
"I thought we played really hard, and I thought that we got better today. The fourth quarter is just one of those things where we're inexperienced. we've had two players take over the fourth quarter for four years, that aren't here anymore. We've got to find somebody who can produce, and execute and perform in the fourth quarter. When we do that I think we'll have a pretty good team."

"We have two seniors, and it's just going to take some time."

On the performance over the first three quarters
"Ellie performed better offensively [tonight] than she has this season, and Marta has done a great job. I thought Braydey came in and hit a couple of big shots for us, and I was really pleased with A'Shanti. Joyce, too. we had some kids step up and play better against a very, very good team. We'll just have to keep trying."

On the performance of Braydey Hodgins, A'Shanti Coleman, and Joyce Harrell off the bench
"I was pleased with them. We decided to try to narrow the lineup a little bit, and this was a big game for us. we'd certainly like to have the win, we're just disappointed with the fourth quarter. Other than that, I think we made big strides, and we'll try to do better on Sunday."

On the team showing it can compete with good teams
"The one thing that can come out of this is that we're capable of competing with a good team. Right now we're capable of competing with a good team for about three-and-a-half quarters, but we've got to be able to finish a game off."


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