Boise State

Remme’s absence hits hard as Boise State gymnasts lose; women’s hoops sets record

Gabriela Bouza on beam. The No. 13 Boise State gymnastics team hosts No. 16 BYU in the Broncos’ final home meet of the 2019 season.
Gabriela Bouza on beam. The No. 13 Boise State gymnastics team hosts No. 16 BYU in the Broncos’ final home meet of the 2019 season. kjones@idahostatesman.com

Every member of the Boise State gymnastics team found a new warmup T-shirt in her locker ahead of the Broncos’ meet against BYU on Thursday.

Shani Remme had to fight back tears when she saw it.

“I was not expecting that,” said Remme, who will miss the remainder of her senior season with a torn ACL in her left knee. “... It said hashtag ‘Do it for Shani.’ It just really warmed my heart.”

The No. 11 Broncos certainly missed Remme’s consistency against the No. 16 Cougars. In their second meet without the program’s career leader in all-around wins, the Broncos came up short, 197.000 to 196.325, after an off day on uneven bars.

BYU upset the Broncos at Taco Bell Arena with the 10th-best score in program history and the Cougars’ highest since March 19, 2004.

“We know they can be great without Shani. She definitely makes us better and we love having her,” Boise State co-head coach Tina Bird said. “But for them to jump back last week so quickly and not skip a beat, we were a little bit shocked.

“We thought maybe it might take them a meet or two to get their feet underneath them and to really believe that they can do it. I think this was just our little dip in the road.”

BYU junior Shannon Evans won the all-around with a 39.575. Evans also won individual titles on vault (9.900) and floor (9.950). Boise State junior Courtney McGregor took second in the all-around with a season-high 39.425, and Boise State senior Sarah Means competed in the all-around for the first time in several years, finishing with a 38.850.

Boise State freshman Alexis Stokes had the top score on bars with a career-high matching 9.925. However, uncharacteristic slip-ups from several other Broncos on the apparatus proved costly.

“It might have been pressure tonight. Who knows?” said Remme, who was honored after the meet along with fellow seniors Means and Alex Esmerian. “But I think we’re going to come back and be even stronger.”

The Broncos (11-2, 5-1 MRGC) are on the road for the remainder of the season, beginning March 16 against No. 10 Kentucky, No. 18 Nebraska and Illinois State in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“We missed Shani tonight, and especially because it was senior night,” McGregor said. “It’s so hard for her to sit on the sideline right now, but she was super supportive and cheered her lungs out. We can still feel her presence and her energy.”

Women’s basketball: Broncos set single-season records

With Boise State’s 80-60 victory over Air Force on Thursday night at Clune Arena in USAFA, Colorado, the Broncos set records for overall (25) and conference (16) wins in a season.

The 25 victories is a program record for most regular-season wins and matches the 2016-17 squad that went 25-8 for most overall wins. Boise State’s 16 Mountain West wins are an all-time program record, eclipsing the previous best of 14 set by the 1991-92, 2007-08 and 2017-18 teams.

Boise State rolled to its 12th straight win over the Falcons with a balanced effort. Twelve Broncos logged minutes, with 11 of those players scoring at least one point. Senior Marta Hermida led the way with 16 points, and junior Jayde Christopher scored a career-high 14 points to go with five assists and four rebounds. Freshman Rachel Bowers added 11 points and eight rebounds, spearheading a Boise State bench that contributed 31 points.

Top-seeded Boise State (25-4, 16-2) opens the Mountain West Tournament at 1 p.m. MT Monday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas against the winner of Sunday’s matchup between No. 8 Nevada (11-18, 7-11) and No. 9 San Jose State (6-23, 5-13).

Women’s basketball: Vandals earn share of league title

The University of Idaho women’s basketball team came from behind to beat Weber State 86-78 on Thursday at Cowan Spectrum in Moscow.

The victory assures the Vandals (19-9, 16-3) at least a share of the Big Sky Conference’s regular-season title for the second year in a row.

Idaho wraps up the regular season at home Saturday against Idaho State. It will be the final home game for seniors Mikayla Ferenz and Taylor Pierce. Ferenz broke the Big Sky’s career scoring record earlier this season and currently has 2,348 career points. Pierce leads the nation in made 3-pointers with 129.

The Big Sky Tournament for men’s and women’s basketball runs March 11-16 at CenturyLink Arena in Boise.

Men’s basketball: Broncos sign five-star recruit

Arizona transfer Emmanuel Akot signed with the Boise State men’s basketball team on Thursday. He will sit out the 2019-20 season, per NCAA transfer rules, and begin competition in 2020-21 with two years of eligibility remaining.

“We are very excited to have Emmanuel join our program,” coach Leon Rice said in a press release. “Bronco Nation is going to love his size, toughness and ability to play multiple positions. His experience and leadership abilities are going to play a huge part in this program moving forward.”

Akot spent a year and a half at Arizona, playing the entire 2017-18 season and the first half of 2018-19. The native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, played in 17 games for the Wildcats in 2018-19, making 11 starts and averaging 3.8 points and 2.8 rebounds per game.

The former five-star recruit, who prepped at Wasatch Academy in Mount Pleasant, Utah, is the highest-rated player to ever join the program. According to ESPN.com, the 6-foot-7 Akot received a scout grade of 88 and was ranked the 43rd-best player in ESPN’s Top 100 for 2017. In addition, 247Sports.com gave him a five-star rating and ranked him the No. 24 overall player in the class of 2017.

“I chose Boise State because of the culture,” Akot said in a press release. “Coach Rice does a great job of running the show and helping his players improve and reach their goals. I’m excited to join a great community and do big things as a Bronco.”

WOMEN: BOISE ST. 80, AIR FORCE 60

BOISE ST. (25-4, 16-2 MWC)

HERMIDA, Marta 5-12 5-6 16; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 5-7 2-2 14; BOWERS, Rachel 5-8 1-4 11; LUPFER, Riley 3-8 2-2 8; HODGINS, Braydey 3-5 0-0 8; COLEMAN, A’Shanti 4-9 0-0 8; AMUNDSEN, Tess 2-4 0-0 5; WOERNER, Ellie 2-4 0-0 4; HARRELL, Joyce 1-4 1-2 3; TOTH, Emerald 0-0 2-2 2; LOVILLE, Jade 0-0 1-2 1; GALERON, Sofia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 30-61 14-20 80.

AIR FORCE (8-21, 4-14 MWC)

Kaelin Immel 6-15 1-1 13; Riley Snyder 4-9 4-5 13; Haley Jones 3-8 3-6 9; Briana Autrey 4-8 0-0 8; Noelle Tomes 4-7 0-0 8; Emily Conroe 2-9 2-2 6; KUCHINS, Coco 1-4 0-0 2; Venessannah Itugbu 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 24-60 11-16 60.

Boise St...................... 13 25 24 18 — 80

Air Force..................... 8 17 17 18 — 60

3-point goals — Boise St. 6-18 (HODGINS, Braydey 2-3; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 2-3; AMUNDSEN, Tess 1-3; HERMIDA, Marta 1-6; WOERNER, Ellie 0-1; LUPFER, Riley 0-2), Air Force 1-7 (Riley Snyder 1-2; Noelle Tomes 0-2; Emily Conroe 0-2; Kaelin Immel 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Boise St. 36 (BOWERS, Rachel 8), Air Force 36 (Haley Jones 11). Assists — Boise St. 14 (CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 5), Air Force 7 (Riley Snyder 2; Briana Autrey 2). Total fouls — Boise St. 21, Air Force 21. Technical fouls — None. A — 368.

Rachel Roberts has been covering sports for the Idaho Statesman since 2005. She attended Northwest Nazarene University and is Boise born and raised.

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