Nov. 9, 2017
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State (0-0) opens its 2017-18 regular season Friday, hosting Northwest Christian at 5:30 p.m. at Taco Bell Arena. The Broncos have won four-straight season openers heading into Friday night, with the last such loss coming Nov. 8, 2013, a 90-86 defeat to Southern Utah.
ABOUT NORTHWEST CHRISTIAN
Northwest Christian, a member of NAIA and the Cascade Collegiate Conference, is already 3-0 on the season, having defeated Northwest Indian College (103-17), Cal State Maritime (75-36), and Pacific Union College (77-47).
The Beacons played an exhibition at Gonzaga on Nov. 5, falling, 96-35.
LOOKING TO REPEAT 2016-17
Boise State is coming off of a 2016-17 campaign in which it set the program record with 25 wins. Last year, Boise State finished 25-8, winning its second Mountain West Tournament title and making its second NCAA Tournament appearance over the past three seasons.
BRONCOS TABBED 2017-18 MOUNTAIN WEST FAVORITE
Boise State, the defending Mountain West Tournament Champion and a NCAA Tournament participant in two of the past three seasons (2015, 2017), was tabbed the favorite to capture the 2017-18 Mountain West regular-season title.
The announcement marked the first time that Boise State has topped the Mountain West preseason poll, and the first time the Broncos have been voted a preseason conference favorite since the 2007-08 and 2008-09 WAC campaigns.
SHAW VOTED TO PRESEASON ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST TEAM
Senior forward Shalen Shaw was voted to the five-woman Preseason All-Mountain West Team in voting done by conference head coaches and media members. During a 2016-17 season in which Boise State set a program record with 25 wins while winning the Mountain West Tournament title and reaching the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons, Shaw led the Broncos in rebounding (7.1 rpg) and field-goal percentage (44.3), and entering the 2017-18 campaign is the Broncos’ top returner in scoring (10.1 ppg) and assists (67). She also ranks second among Bronco returners in 3-pointers made (47) and steals (38).
GOOD RUN OF PRESEASON HONORS
Shalen Shaw’s inclusion on the 2017-18 Preseason All-Mountain West Team marks the fourth-straight season in which a Bronco has been voted onto the five-woman squad. Brooke Pahukoa was a member ahead of the past two seasons, while Deanna Weaver was voted to the 2014-15 edition. Boise State is the only Mountain West program to be represented on each of the past four preseason all-conference teams.
SHAW’S LEGACY AT HAND
Senior Shalen Shaw has the opportunity to finish her career as one of the most decorated Broncos in program history. If Boise State makes the NCAA Tournament for the second-straight season, Shaw would become the first Bronco in program history to play in three NCAA Tournaments. Statistically speaking, Shaw is just 108 point away from 1,000 for her career, and is also on pace to close her career as the only Bronco in the program’s career top 10 in scoring (needing 369 points to crack the top 10), rebounding (ranks seventh entering 2017-18), and assists (needs 58 to crack the top 10).
PLENTY OF PRODUCTION RETURNING
Despite the graduation of leading scorer and two-time All-Mountain West selection Brooke Pahukoa (13.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 47 3-pointers on 2016-17), and the program’s all-time leader in assists, point guard Yaiza Rodriguez (7.3 ppg, 5.82 apg), the Broncos still return four of their top-five scorers from a season ago. Senior forward Shalen Shaw (10.1 ppg), redshirt junior center Marijke Vanderschaaf (10.1 ppg), junior guard and Spanish international Marta Hermida (8.5 ppg), and sophomore guard Riley Lupfer (8.1 ppg) are all back in 2017-18. Vanderschaaf was also the team’s second-leading rebounder, behind Shaw, with 6.5 rebounds per game, while Hermida had a team-leading 48 steals and was third with 60 assists, and Lupfer paced the team with 56 3-pointers and a 3-point field-goal percentage of 35.9.
HERMIDA WINS EURO GOLD OVER THE SUMMER
This past July, guard Marta Hermida earned her first FIBA gold medal as part of Spain’s U20 National Team, which won the FIBA U20 Women’s European Championship in Matosinhos, Portugal. At the tournament, Hermida appeared in three games, going 1-for-5 from the floor with two rebounds and three steals as Spain captured its third-straight U20 European title, and sixth out of the last seven events.
COLEMAN, WOERNER READY FOR BRONCO DEBUTS
Boise State will also benefit from the addition of a pair of transfers coming off of their NCAA-mandated “sit-out” season in redshirt sophomore guard Ellie Woerner (Portland) and redshirt sophomore forward A’Shanti Coleman (Arizona). Woerner, in her lone season at Portland in 2015-16, started 28 of the 29 games in which she appeared while leading the Pilots and ranking 13th in the WCC with 11.8 points per game. The Sammamish, Wash., native also ranked in the WCC top 10 in 3-pointers made (44, ninth) and 3-point field-goal percentage (38.9, seventh). Coleman started 11 of the 32 games in which she appeared for Arizona in 2015-16, averaging 2.2 points and 1.6 rebounds per game.
WELCOME TO COLLEGE
Boise State will also be boosted this year by a pair of freshman in forwards Tess Amundsen (Fresno, Calif./Clovis West HS) and Hailey Vice-Neat (Santa Rosa, Calif./Cardinal Newman HS).
Amundsen helped lead Clovis West to 34-2 overall record in 2017, and the CIF Girls Open Division title with a 44-40 victory over Archbishop Mitty (San Jose). Clovis West also finished the 2016-17 season as ESPN’s top-ranked team in the nation and was named California State Team of the Year by Cal-Hi Sports
Vice-Neat helped lead Cardinal Newman to the Northern California Regional title game in 2017, and to the CIF Division IV title in 2016. She is a two-time Santa Rosa Press-Democrat Large Schools MVP (2016-17) and North Bay League MVP (2016-17).
PRESNELL ON THE BENCH AGAIN
For the 13th season, Boise State will be guided by head coach Gordy Presnell. Last year was a benchmark year for the Bronco head coach, as Presnell earned his 600th career win on Dec. 18 against Portland, He became the 32nd coach in NCAA Division I history to hit the mark, and enters the 2017-18 campaign with 616 wins, 55th all-time among NCAA women’s basketball coaches, and 30th among active coaches.
Over his Boise State tenure (2005-present), Presnell has recorded 220 wins, most all-time by a Bronco head coach, and has guided the Broncos to the NCAA Tournament on three occasions (2007, 2015, 2017) while making five postseason appearances. Under his watch, Boise State has also won two regular-season titles (WAC 2007-08) and three conference tournament titles (WAC 2007, MW 2015, 2017).
A COMPETITIVE NON-CONFERENCE SLATE
Boise State will play a non-conference schedule that includes multiple postseason teams from a season ago. Washington, which visits Taco Bell Arena Dec. 7, reached the regional semifinals of the 2017 NCAA Tournament, while two 2017-18 non-conference foes, Saint Mary’s (Nov. 30), Washington State (Dec. 18) reached the WNIT, with the Cougars reaching the semifinals of the 64-team draw.
The slate will also include a trip to Hawaii to face San Diego (Nov. 17) and Northern Arizona (Nov. 19), as well as trips to Eastern Washington (Dec. 3) and Portland (Dec. 10).