Boise State Basketball

Boise State women dominate, men deflate in league matchups against Fresno State

Watch Boise State’s Lupfer join the 1,000-point club

Junior guard Riley Lupfer became the 21st player in Boise State women's basketball history to score 1,000 or more points in her career. Lupfer eclipsed the mark with 3:47 left in a 72-60 win over Fresno State on Saturday in Fresno, California.
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Junior guard Riley Lupfer became the 21st player in Boise State women's basketball history to score 1,000 or more points in her career. Lupfer eclipsed the mark with 3:47 left in a 72-60 win over Fresno State on Saturday in Fresno, California.

The Boise State men’s basketball team held Fresno State’s top two scorers to zero points and a combined 0-for-5 effort from the floor in the first half.

By the time the Bulldogs left Taco Bell Arena on Saturday, they’d finished with 15 fewer points than their season average.

Even so, the Broncos didn’t win.

Fresno State scored 41 points in the second half to rally from a six-point halftime deficit for a 63-53 victory over Boise State in a Mountain West Conference matchup.

“Our offense put way too much pressure on our defense, and it probably took the wind out of our defensive sails a little bit because we didn’t score,” Boise State coach Leon Rice said. “We got some good looks and we go 4-for-21 from 3.”

It was the second straight home loss for the Broncos after a 3-0 start to conference play and drops them out of a tie for first in the league standings. Boise State lost 72-71 in the final seconds to No. 10 Nevada on Tuesday.

Boise State (8-10, 3-2 MW) started the game 0-for-8 from beyond the arc, but thanks to a stout defensive effort, it didn’t matter. The Broncos led 28-22 at halftime as Fresno State’s Braxton Huggins (18.4 ppg) and Deshon Taylor (16.6 ppg) failed to score a single point.

But the Broncos’ offensive struggles caught up with them in the second half. They led 35-30 with 14:03 to play but went 0-for-7 over a three-minute stretch that allowed the Bulldogs to pull ahead 37-35. Boise State never led the rest of the way.

Fresno shot 13.3 percent (2-of-15) from 3-point range in the first half before reversing course for a 5-for-8 effort in the second half, including four triples over the final 5:35. Taylor finished with a team-leading 15 points and Huggins chipped in two 3-pointers.

Facing full-court pressure from the Bulldogs, Boise State committed 16 turnovers. The Broncos also allowed 10 offensive boards and were ultimately outrebounded 33-25.

“I think tonight was just one of those nights where we couldn’t hit a shot,” Boise State junior Alex Hobbs said. “I think that was kind of due to their pressure. We kind of let them speed us up a little bit.”

Hobbs and fellow junior guard Justinian Jessup each scored 15 points to lead the Broncos. The pair combined for 18 of Boise State’s 25 points in the second half.

“We’ve got to find consistency, and we have to keep getting better,” Rice said. “That’s been our mission all along. We’ve done a good job of holding to that. It doesn’t get any easier Tuesday. We go to one of the hottest teams in the league right now.”

The Broncos have a quick turnaround at Air Force at 7 p.m. MT on Tuesday (AT&T SportsNet, 670 AM). The Falcons have double-digit wins over San Diego State (62-48) and UNLV (106-88).

“We can’t let two straight losses affect the rest of the season,” Boise State junior Marcus Dickinson said. “We just have to keep getting better and moving forward from this.”

Women: Boise State 72, Fresno State 60

There was supposed to be a showdown for first place in the Mountain West standings at Save Mart Center on Saturday afternoon in Fresno, California.

It ended up being a Boise State blowout.

Senior guard Marta Hermida scored all of her team-leading 21 points in the second half, and the Broncos led by as many as 28 points in a rout of Fresno State (11-5, 4-1 MW).

“The first two and three quarters was as good of basketball as we’ve played all year. Our bench was fantastic in the first half,” Boise State coach Gordy Presnell said. “We fatigued them a little bit in the second quarter, then we started subbing and we got on a roll. Everyone was into it. It’s fun when you play a really good team and bring your best.”

The victory gives Boise State (14-2, 5-0) sole possession of first place in the conference standings and extends its win streak to nine straight games.

Hermida attempted just one shot in the first half, but Boise State was still comfortably ahead, 43-26, at halftime with eight players scoring at least one bucket for the Broncos.

While senior Joyce Harrell started the game by making her first four field-goal attempts, Hermida finished things off for the Broncos.

Hermida made five 3-pointers in the second half on eight attempts, and Harrell notched a double-double with 12 points, 11 rebounds and five assists.

“Marta just carried us in the second half,” Presnell said. “They switched defenses on us and started trapping, so you’re going to have to have ice in your veins, and Marta did that and knocked down big shots.”

Junior guard Riley Lupfer scored nine of her 11 points in the first 20 minutes, but it was her runner in the lane with 3:47 remaining in the game that gave her 1,001 career points. Lupfer is only the 21st player in program history to reach the milestone and the second Bronco to do so this season, joining Hermida.

The Broncos are back at home on Wednesday when they host Air Force at 7 p.m. at Taco Bell Arena. Boise State swept the Falcons during the regular season last year and ended their season with a 60-46 victory in the Mountain West Tournament quarterfinals. Wednesday’s game will be on 1350 AM and find a link for a free video stream at BroncoSports.com.

MEN: FRESNO STATE 63, BOISE STATE 53

FRESNO STATE (13-4, 4-1)

Deshon Taylor 4-10 6-6 15; New Williams 5-7 1-2 14; Nate Grimes 3-8 1-2 7; Sam Bittner 2-5 2-2 6; Aguir Agau 3-4 0-0 6; Braxton Huggins 2-7 0-0 6; Noah Blackwell 2-6 0-0 5; Johnny McWilliams 1-2 0-0 2; Lazaro Rojas 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 23-52 10-12 63.

BOISE STATE (8-10, 3-2)

JESSUP, Justinian 6-13 0-0 15; HOBBS, Alex 7-14 0-0 15; HANEY, Zach 3-5 0-1 6; DICKINSON, Marcus 2-7 1-1 5; ALSTON, Derrick 0-6 4-4 4; DEMBLEY, Pat 2-5 0-0 4; WACKER, David 1-1 2-2 4; HARWELL, Malek 0-0 0-0 0; WILLIAMS, RJ 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 7-8 53.

Fresno St..................... 22 41 — 63

Boise State................... 28 25 — 53

3-point goals — Fresno St. 7-23 (New Williams 3-5; Braxton Huggins 2-6; Noah Blackwell 1-5; Deshon Taylor 1-4; Johnny McWilliams 0-1; Aguir Agau 0-1; Sam Bittner 0-1), Boise State 4-21 (JESSUP, Justinian 3-7; HOBBS, Alex 1-4; DICKINSON, Marcus 0-3; ALSTON, Derrick 0-3; DEMBLEY, Pat 0-3; HANEY, Zach 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Fresno St. 33 (Nate Grimes 8), Boise State 25 (DICKINSON, Marcus 4; WACKER, David 4; JESSUP, Justinian 4). Assists — Fresno St. 10 (Deshon Taylor 4), Boise State 8 (HOBBS, Alex 2; ALSTON, Derrick 2). Total fouls — Fresno St. 13, Boise State 15. Technical fouls — None. A — 6,437.

WOMEN: BOISE STATE 72, FRESNO STATE 60

BOISE STATE (14-2, 5-0 MW)

HERMIDA, Marta 8-12 0-0 21; HARRELL, Joyce 5-7 2-4 12; LUPFER, Riley 4-10 1-2 11; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 3-8 0-0 8; HODGINS, Braydey 2-6 2-2 7; AMUNDSEN, Tess 2-5 0-0 4; COLEMAN, A’Shanti 2-10 0-2 4; WOERNER, Ellie 1-1 0-0 3; BOWERS, Rachel 1-2 0-0 2; TOTH, Emerald 0-0 0-2 0; LOVILLE, Jade 0-0 0-0 0; GALERON, Sofia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-61 5-12 72.

FRESNO STATE (11-5, 4-1 MW)

WHITE, Candice 7-14 3-4 22; UTTI, Maddi 8-11 0-0 16; CAVEY, Kristina 3-8 4-5 10; GAMEZ, Aly 1-10 7-11 10; OGIER, Genna 1-4 0-0 2; FRIBERG, Lydia 0-0 0-0 0; DELANEY, Bree 0-2 0-0 0; PORTER, Jordanna 0-1 0-0 0; KNISHKA, Breanne 0-0 0-0 0; JOHNSON, Raven 0-1 0-2 0. Totals 20-51 14-22 60.

Boise State................... 22 21 16 13 — 72

Fresno State.................. 18 8 13 21 — 60

3-point goals — Boise State 11-25 (HERMIDA, Marta 5-8; LUPFER, Riley 2-6; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 2-4; WOERNER, Ellie 1-1; HODGINS, Braydey 1-5; AMUNDSEN, Tess 0-1), Fresno State 6-16 (WHITE, Candice 5-7; GAMEZ, Aly 1-4; CAVEY, Kristina 0-3; DELANEY, Bree 0-1; PORTER, Jordanna 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Boise State 36 (HARRELL, Joyce 11), Fresno State 32 (UTTI, Maddi 9). Assists — Boise State 16 (HARRELL, Joyce 5; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 5), Fresno State 12 (GAMEZ, Aly 3; DELANEY, Bree 3). Total fouls — Boise State 19, Fresno State 15. Technical fouls — Boise State-None, Fresno State-TEAM. A — 2,294.

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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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