Twice this season the Boise State women’s basketball team has let a double-digit lead disappear in the fourth quarter.
The Broncos did the exact opposite Thursday night at Taco Bell Arena, turning a 12-point lead after three quarters into a 23-point, 85-62 victory over Washington.
It was the Broncos’ first double-figure win against a Pac-12 program since 2007 and came against a Husky squad that has made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a Final Four berth in 2016.
“It’s a good win for our program, but it’s even better for the situation we’re in in our season,” Boise State coach Gordy Presnell said. “To be three-and-three and not really playing to our potential and then the Huskies come in. I think we played to our potential.
“We shot the ball outstanding, and to have our composure throughout the whole game, it’s a huge win for us for this season and for right now.”
Boise State senior Shalen Shaw notched her first double-double of the season, leading all scorers with 17 points and all rebounders with 14. The 6-foot-1 forward also added three steals and two blocked shots.
“Whether Washington is as good as they’ve been in the past or not, it’s still Washington and it’s still a Pac-12 school,” Presnell said. “For (Shaw) to rise up and make this her best game is great.”
Marta Hermida (16 points, 9 assists), Tess Amundsen (13 points) and Riley Lupfer (12 points) also reached double figures for the Broncos (4-3), who shot 58.2 percent from the field and outrebounded the Huskies 38-23.
“We’ve kind of struggled in the fourth quarter with keeping our leads and keeping our intensity up,” Shaw said. “I think (tonight) in the fourth quarter, we kept that energy and we kept that intensity and we just kept going at them.”
Boise State attacked the Huskies (4-4) from the opening tip, as Lupfer made back-to-back 3-pointers on the Broncos’ first two possessions. Boise State made nine 3s in the game led by freshman Tess Amundsen, who came off the bench and went 4 for 8 from deep for a career-high 13 points.
The Broncos got 40 points off the bench to overcome the loss of starting center Marijke Vanderschaaf, who appeared to injure her left knee in the opening seconds and did not return to the game.
Boise State, which was picked to win the Mountain West and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in two of the past three seasons, started the year 1-2 but has since gone 3-1.
“I think it’s a very good win. It just shows what level we can play at,” Amundsen said. “I think that we need to be playing at that level all the time. It’s telling us what we can do, and I think that’s a big confidence booster for us as a team.”
BSU men host Sacramento State
If you go
- What: Sacramento State (2-7) at Boise State (8-1)
- When: 2 p.m. Saturday
- Where: Taco Bell Arena, Boise