Gordy Presnell was “worried” about Boise State’s record-setting 3-point shooter after she went 0-for-4 in a conference loss at Wyoming on Saturday, ending her streak of 51 consecutive games with at least one triple.
So Presnell spent all day Sunday going through film of junior guard Riley Lupfer’s first 18 games of last season compared to the first 18 of 2018-19.
Then Lupfer put Presnell’s worries to rest one 3-pointer at a time Wednesday night, connecting on six deep balls in Boise State’s 70-57 victory over Colorado State in a Mountain West Conference game at Taco Bell Arena.
“It’s terrific for us. She had six threes and she had a little swagger, too. I kind of knew some of those were going in,” Presnell said. “She really doesn’t care who scores, she just wants to win. That’s what I love about her the most, but I’m really proud of her shooting (tonight).”
Lupfer set a Mountain West and program record with 122 made 3-pointers as a sophomore, and that’s led to a lot less open looks this season. As a result, her scoring average has dropped from 16.2 points per game to 12.4 this season.
But in many less quantifiable ways, Lupfer’s mere presence on the court provides an offensive lift for the Broncos (16-3, 7-1 MW).
“People want to guard her, and that helps open up other people for shots,” Boise State freshman Rachel Bowers said.
Lupfer helped the Broncos polish off the Rams (7-12, 1-7) with a sizzling third quarter in which she scored 13 of her game-leading 22 points, including back-to-back-to-back triples in the span of about a minute.
“When it happens, you definitely want to keep shooting it,” Lupfer said. “It’s fun to hear the crowd, and it’s fun to see the score go up.”
The crowd of 1,181 cheered Lupfer when she went to the bench with 1:40 remaining in the fourth quarter. But the loudest cheers of the night were for Bowers after she banked a 3-pointer in the final minute to beat the shot clock.
Bowers contributed 13 points off the bench on 6-for-7 shooting from the floor as the Broncos’ reserves contributed 29 points compared to eight for Colorado State. The win moved the Broncos into a tie for first in the Mountain West with New Mexico, which was idle Wednesday.
“I think our big thing that we’re focusing on is strength in numbers, and we’re showing that,” Lupfer said. “Rachel, she came in big today. I think her three was my favorite part of the game. She’s 2-for-2 for the season if you didn’t know. She has a better shooting percentage than me. (Teammate) A’Shanti (Coleman) told me to go get in the gym.”
The Broncos are home again Saturday against Nevada. The Wolf Pack took the Broncos down to the wire, 75-74, in their meeting in Reno two weeks ago. Saturday’s game starts at 2 p.m. at Taco Bell Arena.
Note: Centennial High graduate Lauren Brocke provided a spark for Colorado State off the bench. The 6-foot-3 redshirt freshman finished with six points and three steals.
Softball: Broncos haul in preseason honors
The Boise State softball team returns the majority of its runs (74 percent), hits (73 percent) and extra-base hits (69 percent) from last year’s record-setting offense.
That made the Broncos a clear pick to defend their Mountain West Conference title in a preseason vote of the league’s coaches. Boise State received eight of the nine first-place votes for 64 points. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.
Fresno State was tabbed to finish second, earning the other first-place vote and 57 points, while San Jose State (50) was predicted third.
“The preseason vote is truly a testament to last year’s championship team, and the group of returners we are fortunate to have coming back,” Boise State coach Maggie Livreri said. “We have some nice additions to those returners, and we are looking forward to getting on the playing field with this year’s group.”
The Broncos bring back plenty of experience in the circle, too, with three returners who each logged 60 or more innings and accounted for more than 90 percent of their innings pitched (91 percent), wins (95 percent), strikeouts (91 percent) and complete games (100 percent).
In other news Wednesday, Boise State sophomore infielder Alison Seng was named to the 2019 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Watch List. Seng was the 2018 Mountain West Freshman of the Year. Seng and teammate Rebekah Cervantes also were named preseason All-Americans by Fastpitch News. Both were honorable mention picks.
BOISE ST. 70, COLORADO ST. 57
COLORADO ST. (7-12)
Lore Devos 8-16 3-4 19; Tatum Neubert 2-4 9-11 13; Mollie Mounsey 3-11 1-1 9; Grace Colaivalu 2-7 4-7 8; Lauren Brocke 2-5 0-0 6; Lena Svanholm 1-2 0-0 2; Liah Davis 0-1 0-0 0; Myanne Hamm 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 18-49 17-23 57.
BOISE ST. (16-3)
LUPFER, Riley 7-15 2-2 22; BOWERS, Rachel 6-7 0-0 13; HODGINS, Braydey 2-4 2-2 8; HARRELL, Joyce 3-7 0-0 6; COLEMAN, A’Shanti 2-3 1-2 5; WOERNER, Ellie 1-1 2-4 5; LOVILLE, Jade 1-2 2-2 4; GALERON, Sofia 1-4 0-0 3; AMUNDSEN, Tess 0-0 2-2 2; VANDERSCHAAF, Marijk 1-1 0-1 2; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 0-5 0-0 0; HERMIDA, Marta 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-51 11-15 70.
Colorado St................... 10 13 20 14 — 57
Boise St...................... 18 16 26 10 — 70
3-point goals — Colorado St. 4-17 (Mollie Mounsey 2-7; Lauren Brocke 2-4; Grace Colaivalu 0-2; Lena Svanholm 0-1; Myanne Hamm 0-2; Lore Devos 0-1), Boise St. 11-27 (LUPFER, Riley 6-14; HODGINS, Braydey 2-4; GALERON, Sofia 1-2; WOERNER, Ellie 1-1; BOWERS, Rachel 1-1; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 0-2; HERMIDA, Marta 0-2; LOVILLE, Jade 0-1). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Colorado St. 25 (Lore Devos 6), Boise St. 35 (LUPFER, Riley 6). Assists — Colorado St. 5 (Lauren Brocke 1; Mollie Mounsey 1; Grace Colaivalu 1; Tatum Neubert 1; Lore Devos 1), Boise St. 21 (CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 7). Total fouls — Colorado St. 14, Boise St. 20. Technical fouls — None. A — 1,181.