As the buzzer sounded in Taco Bell Arena on the evening of Thursday, Nov. 30, a hard-fought game came to a close, and the Broncos barely fell short of a victory. Despite a 3-point attempt by junior Marta Hermida within the last 20 seconds of the game, the final score landed in favor of the Saint Mary Gaels, 74-72.
“I thought we played really hard, and I thought that we got better today. The fourth quarter is just one of those things where we’re inexperienced,” said Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell. “We’ve got to find somebody who can produce, execute and perform in the fourth quarter.”
Despite the loss, the game was filled with tough offense early on. Sophomore Riley Lupfer had four 3-pointers and matched her season high for total points (15). Ellie Woerner had 13 points, and junior Marta Hermida had yet another double-digit game with 10 points. Sophomore Braydey Hodgins was able to return to the court after dealing with a hand injury and quickly hit two 3-pointers and had a total of 8 points.
“The one thing that can come out of this is that we’re capable of competing with a good team. Right now we’re capable of competing with a good team for about three-and-a-half quarters, but we’ve got to be able to finish a game off,” Presnell said.
At their next game against Eastern Washington on Sunday, Dec. 2, the team saw a considerable improvement in their fourth quarter intensity. Fighting off a surge from the Eagles, who crept up on the Broncos (55-52 at 1:26), the team pulled off a 61-57 victory. Hodgins pulled the team further ahead by sinking two free throws with just over a minute left.
“I think it was very special. It was special to be here with my sister, but it was also special for the team,” Hodgins said. Hodgins took the court against her sister Delaney Hodgins, lead scorer for the Eagles. “We needed a win, and it was good to get on ehere and hold a fourth-quarter lead.”
The Broncos return to Taco Bell Arena on Thursday, Dec. 7 to take on the University of Washington.
“Hopefully it gives us some momentum going forward,” Presnell said. “Washington is a terrific team, and they’re playing really well and had a big win yesterday (Dec. 1) over Idaho. It’ll be a tough task, but we’re looking forward to competing against them.”