There were two rare — if not unheard of — incidents at the Boise State women’s basketball game on Wednesday night.
For starters, coach Gordy Presnell received a technical foul.
Then the Broncos set the program record for consecutive wins over conference opponents by defeating Air Force 79-48 in a Mountain West matchup at Taco Bell Arena.
Boise State now has 16 straight victories over Mountain West teams, and Presnell just his third technical in more than a decade.
While Presnell called the technical he received for arguing a call in the third quarter “dumb,” he had much higher praise for his team’s record-setting performance.
“It’s a tribute to those guys. They come to play every day,” Presnell said. “When you’re recruiting you see people that might be able to shoot the ball well or are real athletic, but you don’t always know what the heart is in terms of how important winning is.
“I think we have a group of juniors that winning is really important to them. They’ve played in a lot of big games and come out on top a number of times, so that sets the bar for our culture in terms of their perspective on winning.”
Boise State’s previous record for consecutive league wins was 15 in the Western Athletic Conference from 2007 to 2008.
“I think (the streak) speaks volumes of who was before us and then also how we’ve responded to that culture and grown to be a part of it,” Boise State junior Braydey Hodgins said.
The Broncos (15-2, 6-0 MW) played Wednesday’s game without senior guard Marta Hermida, who had just earned Mountain West Player of the Week honors. Hermida sprained an ankle, but isn’t expected to be out long.
Even without a key senior leader and one of their best on-ball defenders, the Broncos put forth one of their most complete games of the season to earn their first 15-2 start to a season since 1977-78.
The Falcons (6-12, 2-5) shot just 27.9 percent from the floor and 16.7 percent from 3-point range and were outrebounded 51-33. Air Force also allowed the Broncos to score 48 points in the paint, which was a season-best against conference foes.
Twelve Broncos logged playing time, and 10 Broncos scored two points or more led by A’Shanti Coleman’s 18 points on 9-for-10 shooting. Hodgins added 17 points, true freshman Jade Loville had 12 points and Jayde Christopher notched 11 points and five assists. The Broncos also blocked a season-high 11 shots, one short of the program’s single-game record.
“Our focus this week was obviously playing better defense,” Hodgins said. “We need to send a message that we’re here to play, and we’re not the team that’s going to let people go on deep runs late into the game. It really started on defense for us, and if we play good defense, then our offense will come.”
The Broncos resume league play on the road Saturday with their second of two regular-season games against Wyoming. The matchup tips off at 1 p.m. MT at Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. A free live stream of the game can be found at BroncoSports.com and 1350 AM. Boise State beat Wyoming 72-64 at Taco Bell Arena on Jan. 2.
Free tickets for federal employees
Furloughed federal employees can take in a pair of Boise State basketball games for free.
Boise State is offering two tickets to Saturday’s men’s game against Wyoming (2 p.m.) and two tickets to next week’s women’s game against Colorado State (7 p.m. Jan. 30) at no cost to furloughed federal employees.
Employees with federal identification are encouraged to pick up their tickets prior to game day. Boise State’s athletic ticket office is located on the west side of Albertsons Stadium and is open Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and on Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Included with the tickets will be a pass for free parking for the men’s game, and parking for the women’s game is free. Food vouchers from Aramark also will be provided for each guest for each game.
BOISE ST. 79, AIR FORCE 48
AIR FORCE (6-12)
Briana Autrey 4-10 3-3 11; Kaelin Immel 3-15 2-3 8; Riley Snyder 2-11 2-2 7; Noelle Tomes 2-5 1-2 6; Emily Conroe 3-5 0-2 6; Kassady Huffman 1-5 3-4 5; Haley Jones 2-7 1-2 5; Natalie Nicks 0-1 0-0 0; Michaela McFalls 0-2 0-0 0; Venessannah Itugbu 0-0 0-0 0; Kennedy Beale 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-61 12-18 48.
BOISE ST. (15-2)
COLEMAN, A’Shanti 9-10 0-2 18; HODGINS, Braydey 7-12 0-0 17; LOVILLE, Jade 5-9 0-1 12; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 5-8 1-2 11; WOERNER, Ellie 3-7 0-0 6; LUPFER, Riley 2-7 0-0 5; AMUNDSEN, Tess 1-3 2-2 4; HARRELL, Joyce 0-4 2-4 2; BOWERS, Rachel 1-3 0-0 2; GALERON, Sofia 1-2 0-0 2; TOTH, Emerald 0-0 0-0 0; VANDERSCHAAF, Marijk 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 34-67 5-11 79.
Air Force..................... 15 9 10 14 — 48
Boise St...................... 20 19 26 14 — 79
3-point goals — Air Force 2-12 (Noelle Tomes 1-2; Riley Snyder 1-5; Emily Conroe 0-1; Haley Jones 0-1; Kaelin Immel 0-3), Boise St. 6-17 (HODGINS, Braydey 3-6; LOVILLE, Jade 2-3; LUPFER, Riley 1-4; AMUNDSEN, Tess 0-1; WOERNER, Ellie 0-2; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Air Force 33 (Kassady Huffman 10), Boise St. 51 (HARRELL, Joyce 10). Assists — Air Force 10 (Kassady Huffman 2; Briana Autrey 2; Riley Snyder 2; Kaelin Immel 2), Boise St. 18 (LUPFER, Riley 6). Total fouls — Air Force 17, Boise St. 22. Technical fouls — Air Force-None, Boise St.-TEAM. A — 738.