Boise State’s women’s basketball team are Mountain West Tournament champions for the second year in a row, thanks to a layup by redshirt sophomore forward A’Shanti Coleman that came with one second left on the clock. The No. 1 seeded Broncos claimed the title with their defeat of No. 7 University of Nevada, Reno on Friday, March 9. This is the Broncos’ third championship title since joining the conference in 2011-12.
“It felt like a normal shot for me, kind of confident, because I knew I had a lot of time,” Coleman said. “I felt like when it came out of my hand, it was going to go in.”
This tournament victory secures an automatic bid to the NCAA Women’s March Madness tournament, which will take place from Friday, March 16 to Sunday, April 1. With that bid, Shalen Shaw becomes the first Boise State women’s basketball player in history to attend three NCAA tournaments.
“We’re really going to miss Shaw (next year), but I think she left a legacy,” said sophomore guard Riley Lupfer. “That’s what she came here to do, and that’s what she did.”
Boise and Nevada were tied 60-60 as the clock ticked down in Las Vegas. The Broncos were behind for a majority of the game, their largest lead only being by three points less than 20 seconds into the game. The Wolf Pack shot 44.1 percent as the Broncos shot 41.4 percent, making for a hard-fought game. But in the very end, Coleman made sure that the Broncos came out on top.
Even after trailing Nevada for most of the game, Boise State’s offense refused to give up. The five starters were responsible for all of the Broncos’ points. Both Shaw and Coleman had 10 points, Lupfer had 19 points, junior guard Marta Hermida had nine points and sophomore guard Braydey Hodgins had 14 points.
“It’s really been something to watch and be a part of,” said head coach Gordy Presnell. “They’re a group of really unselfish, jealous-free kids who have excelled and achieved. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”
In the 2016-17 NCAA tournament, Boise State lost in the first round to the University of California, Los Angeles 83-56. The 2017-18 March Madness bracket will be updated on Monday, March 12 to decide who the Broncos will play in the first round.