Boise State Basketball

Boise State women’s basketball opens Friday at Bronco Gym

Boise State’s Yaiza Rodriguez, of Spain, drives past New Mexico’s Bryce Owens during the first half of the Mountain West Tournament championship game last March in Las Vegas. Boise State defeated New Mexico 66-60.
Boise State’s Yaiza Rodriguez, of Spain, drives past New Mexico’s Bryce Owens during the first half of the Mountain West Tournament championship game last March in Las Vegas. Boise State defeated New Mexico 66-60. Associated Press file

Boise State opens its season in the cozy setting of Bronco Gym at 7 p.m. against Division II Cal State Los Angeles.

Though top scorer Deanna Weaver and top rebounder Camille Redmon are gone, the Broncos return a talented nucleus along with a young group of role players who each provide a different twist.

“Unbelievably high-character kids and maybe the most skilled team we’ve had,” Boise State coach Gordy Presnell said. “We might not have the athletes we had before, so maybe we can grind out games a little bit.”

Junior guard Brooke Pahukoa anchors the offense, coming off a sophomore season in which she averaged 10.4 points per game. Fellow junior Yaiza Rodriguez dished out 147 assists last season and was outstanding in the Mountain West Tournament. Senior center Miquelle Askew (9.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg) and sophomore forward Shalen Shaw (83 points in the final seven games) are tough inside.

Freshmen guard Marta Hermida and freshman forward Joyce Harrell are expected to take on early roles. Hermida started the exhibition win over Southern Oregon, and Harrell had 22 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.

“They’re going to be really fine players,” Presnell said.

Dave Southorn: 208-377-6420, @IDS_southorn

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