Women’s Basketball: Postseason miracles, madness and misfortune

Boise State’s women’s basketball team has had a turbulent March 2024. 

The lady Broncos lost their final three games before the Mountain West Conference (MWC) Championship was set to tip off in Las Vegas. On top of that, the team hadn’t seen the quarterfinals round since they won it all back in 2020.

Apparently, none of that sat right with senior forward Abby Muse. On Sunday, March 10, Boise State entered the MWC tournament as the sixth seed, set to square off against the eleventh seeded Utah State University. 

Right from the tip, it was no contest. The Broncos dominated from end to end, never trailing during the entire game.

Much of this performance came on the back of the star studded Muse. 

She recorded 12 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 10 assists, marking just the third triple-double in Boise State history, and the second in Mountain West Women’s Basketball Championship history.

All this helped the Broncos cruise past Utah State in the first round of the tournament, with a final score of 85-49.

The second round saw the team take on the #3 seed University of Wyoming.

This game was quite a change of pace from the first round blowout that the Broncos enjoyed. The Cowgirls led for most of the game, including the entire third quarter, ending with the Broncos down 44-40.

Then with five minutes left … The comeback began.

Down by three, the Broncos went on a 14 point run that featured three pointers from senior guard Mary Kay Naro and sophomore guard Natalie Pasco, and was capped off by free throws from sophomore guard Mya Hansen and senior forward Elodie Lalotte to bump the Broncos up 11 with 19 seconds to go.

The final score was 62-54 and the Broncos went on to the semi-finals for the first time since 2020.

Unfortunately, everything came crashing down against San Diego State University (SDSU). 

The 72-69 final score doesn’t show it, but the Aztecs were in control for most of the game. Boise State led for most of the first quarter, but for the 20 minute stretch that was the second and third, SDSU was on top.

In the fourth quarter, while still trailing, the Broncos were never outside of a one possession game. Keeping the game within three, the Broncos even had the lead with two minutes to go.

Sadly, SDSU’s Adryana Quezada took the final thirty seconds over as she earned two trips to the line that resulted in a total of four points. The Broncos did have a chance at two free throws of their own with fifteen seconds left, but couldn’t get them to sink.

Though the squad had a disappointing ending to the Mountain West Tournament, they still secured a spot in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT). March Madness was on.

The squad had one week to prepare for their first WNIT appearance since 2019, as the University of Las Vegas, Nevada would go on to win the Mountain West Championship for the third year in a row.

Would this finally be the year that Bronco basketball would break the seemingly infinite drought of a March Madness Tournament win? Nope.

Wednesday, March 20th 2024 was yet another in a collection of losses in the big tournament.  The Broncos faced off against the University of Montana Griz in Missoula, Montana, and got rolled 92-66. 

Oh that elusive second round … What happened?

Well, Montana just made more shots. Boise State won the turnover, rebound and fastbreak game, but the Griz shot 52% and made 15 threes, to the Broncos’ 35% and five threes.

It was a weird game for the Broncos and maybe even a lucky game for the Griz. The Broncos even out-blocked the opponent 5-3, but for some reason it was Montana’s night as five of their players had at least 14 points, while only Hansen and Pasco reached double digits (though, they both had 20 and 21 respectively.)

Boise State held the lead a total of three times in the match, though it was never for any meaningful stretch of time. The Griz truly beat the Broncos halfway through the second quarter, where they never relinquished the lead. 

By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, Boise State knew they were beat, and it showed, as Montana outscored them 20-6 in the final 10 minutes.

The Broncos caught another L in round one, and still, with all the talent and great performances from stars like Abby Muse, it wasn’t enough to take down the No. 3 seeded Griz.

Though the Broncos were unable to wrap their season up with a championship or a run in the NIT Tournament, the lady Broncos have much to be proud of this past season. With record breaking performances, the Broncos are in good hands.

Leave a Reply