A defensive effort reminiscent of year’s past was more than enough to power the Boise State Broncos women’s team to a victory over the Wyoming Cowgirls on Wednesday night.
A great shooting effort from senior Riley Lupfer helped, too.
The Broncos (16-8, 8-4) forced 24 Wyoming turnovers — 15 of which were steals — and held the Cowgirls to 36.4 percent shooting in the second half in a 67-48 Boise State victory.
Lupfer had 18 points on 7-9 shooting, knocking down 3-5 from deep, and also had two blocked shots and a steal.
Jayde Christopher was a force on the defensive end with a career-high six steals. Christopher also facilitated things on offense as well with a game-high seven assists.
— Boise State WBB (@BroncoSportsWBB) February 6, 2020
Jade Loville was the only other Bronco in double figures with 10 points. A’Shanti Coleman added nine while Mallory McGwire led the team with seven rebounds.
Boise State shot 45.6 percent from the field and, outside of Lupfer, struggled from three-point range. The rest of the team was a combined 2-14 from deep.
Wyoming (11-10, 7-5) was led by 15 points from Jaeden Vaifanua and 14 from Tereza Vitulova.
‘D’ sets pace for Boise State Broncos
Right out of the gate, the Broncos showed a different intensity on defense. Christopher had a steal on the first possession. The Broncos defense then forced a missed shot, a shot clock violation, another missed shot and forced two more turnovers.
Wyoming finally got on the board but a Coleman three and a Christopher layup gave the Broncos a 9-2 lead.
Lupfer knocked down her first two threes, Loville scored four straight, and Braydey Hodgins had a nifty up-and-under to give Boise State a 21-9 lead after the first quarter.
Going cold has been a common theme for Boise State in 2019-20 and it reared its ugly head to start the second quarter. Wyoming started the quarter on a 10-0 run with Loville finally breaking the scoreless run at the 6:43 mark.
Too much one on one action and lazy passes stalled the Broncos on offense, but their defense was still strong. The closest Wyoming got was within two and the Broncos led at the break, 30-23.
Loville had nine first-half points and Lupfer had eight.
Locking it down
Lupfer and the defense took over in the third quarter.
Lupfer scored ten points in the quarter, including a nice stepback three to put the Broncos up ten. The Bronco defense forced six turnovers in the quarter and contested almost every Wyoming shot.
The result was the Cowgirls not hitting a field goal for the last 7:34 of the quarter. The last points Boise State gave up in the third were two free throws at the 6:17 mark as they raced out to a 48-30 lead heading into the final quarter.
There was to be no letdown this time around as Boise State continued to play well. The lead grew to as large as 21, with a steady dose of the pick-and-roll finding open layups for Rachel Bowers and McGwire.
Bowers, Christopher, and McGwire all finished with six points each. Nine of the ten Broncos to see game action found the scoring column, including a late three by Laia Soler.
Boise State had only five turnovers in the second-half.
The Broncos avenged a New Year’s day loss to Wyoming and moved into sole possession of fourth place in the Mountain West. Up next for Boise State is a matchup with Utah State on Saturday at ExtraMile Arena. Tip-off slated for 2 pm (MT).