Boise State Basketball

Boise State’s six-game winning streak unravels in poor fourth quarter at Utah State

Watch Boise State’s Loville sink a corner 3 at Utah State

Freshman guard Jade Loville contributed seven points, three rebounds and one assist off the bench as the Boise State women's basketball team lost 81-68 to Utah State on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, at Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah.
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Freshman guard Jade Loville contributed seven points, three rebounds and one assist off the bench as the Boise State women's basketball team lost 81-68 to Utah State on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, at Dee Glenn Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah.

Utah State women’s basketball players didn’t hold back their excitement, running in unison to center court to celebrate.

As the Aggies hugged and even posed for photos, Boise State players walked off the court at Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in silent single file.

After an 81-68 loss to Utah State on Saturday afternoon, the Broncos’ chances of an at-large NCAA Tournament berth almost certainly went from slim to none. Boise State (21-4, 12-2 MW) started the day with an RPI ranking of 52, but that number will take a significant hit with the setback against the Aggies (202 RPI).

Boise State led 60-59 with 5 minutes, 29 seconds to go.

“We did not play with poise down the stretch. We did not play with confidence down the stretch,” Boise State coach Gordy Presnell said. “... In crunch time we have been able to perform, but we didn’t, so we’re going to have to learn from it.

“I don’t know all the ramifications of the loss, but you’ve just got to keep getting on the bike, because it’s a rough road ahead.”

With four games remaining in the regular season, Boise State’s two-game lead in the Mountain West Conference is down to one over New Mexico (21-4, 11-3) and Wyoming (18-5, 11-3). The Broncos split their meetings with the Cowgirls and will play the Lobos just once this season — a 7 p.m. March 4 matchup at Taco Bell Arena on senior night.

“Most definitely I think (the loss) will kick some people into gear,” Boise State junior Braydey Hodgins said. “No one’s untouchable. Even though we’re four games away (from a regular-season title), we have to play every single game. We don’t have a cushion anymore. Hopefully that motivates us and fuels the fire.”

Hodgins did just about all she could to get the error-prone Broncos back on track against the Aggies (12-14, 7-8). She scored 16 of the Broncos’ 18 points in the fourth quarter and finished with a team-leading 23 points to become just the second Bronco in program history to score 20 or more points in five straight games.

A’Shanti Coleman (14 points), Marta Hermida (11 points) and Jayde Christopher (10 points) also scored in double figures for the Broncos, who were playing without junior guard Riley Lupfer for the fourth straight game.

While Hodgins’ late-game heroics and a hefty effort from the bench had been enough to make up for Lupfer’s absence the previous three games, the Broncos were clearly missing the preseason Mountain West Player of the Year against the Aggies.

Boise State committed 18 turnovers, shot 39.1 percent from the field and got just 10 points from its bench players. The Broncos uncharacteristically missed multiple 3-point attempts and even a layup in the final minute, allowing the Aggies to seal the win at the free-throw line.

“This is what a tournament game is going to be like,” Presnell said. “You’ve got to be able to grind it out.”

Utah State shot 56.3 percent from the floor — a season high by a Boise State opponent — and made 16-of-18 free throws in the fourth quarter to earn the upset.

“We have to do the little things right,” Hodgins said. “We missed rotations. We had our hands down on shooters. We didn’t rotate to help-side. We got beat backdoor a lot.

“Those are all things that are fixable, and I think that’s what we need to focus on this week in practice.”

The Broncos resume conference play at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Colorado State at Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colorado. In their most recent meeting, Lupfer made six 3-pointers and scored 22 points to guide Boise State to a 70-57 home win over the Rams on Jan. 30.

UTAH STATE 81, BOISE STATE 68

BOISE STATE (21-4, 12-2 MW)

HODGINS, Braydey 7-12 7-8 23; COLEMAN, A’Shanti 7-14 0-1 14; HERMIDA, Marta 4-13 2-2 11; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 5-11 0-0 10; LOVILLE, Jade 2-3 2-2 7; BOWERS, Rachel 0-1 3-4 3; HARRELL, Joyce 0-8 0-0 0; VANDERSCHAAF, Marijk 0-0 0-0 0; WOERNER, Ellie 0-0 0-0 0; AMUNDSEN, Tess 0-2 0-0 0; GALERON, Sofia 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-64 14-17 68.

UTAH STATE (12-14, 7-8 MW)

DUFFICY, Shannon 9-14 8-8 26; BREWSTER, Rachel 8-14 6-8 22; GORMAN, Steph 4-7 2-2 13; WEST, Olivia 3-6 2-5 11; MASON, Deja 2-2 0-1 4; ANIAMBOSSOU, Marlene 1-1 1-1 3; WEST, Eliza 0-1 2-2 2; HARRIS, Emmie 0-1 0-0 0; BASSETT, Hailey 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 27-48 21-29 81.

Boise State................... 16 19 15 18 — 68

Utah State.................... 24 13 15 29 — 81

3-point goals — Boise State 4-17 (HODGINS, Braydey 2-6; LOVILLE, Jade 1-1; HERMIDA, Marta 1-4; AMUNDSEN, Tess 0-2; CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 0-4), Utah State 6-16 (WEST, Olivia 3-5; GORMAN, Steph 3-6; BREWSTER, Rachel 0-1; DUFFICY, Shannon 0-4). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — Boise State 31 (HARRELL, Joyce 9), Utah State 38 (DUFFICY, Shannon 12). Assists — Boise State 12 (CHRISTOPHER, Jayde 7), Utah State 22 (WEST, Eliza 7). Total fouls — Boise State 22, Utah State 17. Technical fouls — None. A — 451.

Rachel Roberts has been covering sports for the Idaho Statesman since 2005. She attended Northwest Nazarene University and is Boise born and raised.If you like seeing stories like this, please consider supporting our work with a digital subscription to the Idaho Statesman.

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