Broncos defeated by Utah State Aggies buzzer-beater 58-56

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After gaining an 11-point lead in what would be a heated fourth-quarter brawl, the Boise State women’s basketball team ultimately lost 58-56 to the Utah State Aggies on Saturday, Feb. 8 at ExtraMile Arena. 

The Broncos went into the fourth period with a four-point lead and built that lead over the Aggies well into the period. But with three minutes remaining, the Broncos slowly began to lose their 11-point lead. 

With a great push, the Aggies fought down to the last seconds of the game to tie up the game at 59 seconds. The Aggies’ Steph Gorman was able to make a 3-pointer for her team to bring the score to 54-54.

Boise State women's basketball on the court against the Utah State Aggies

Photo by Chandler Thornnton.

Boise State fought for the ball and Braydey Hodgins attempted a 3-pointer from the corner after a Boise State time out. Hodgins was unsuccessful, and the Broncos found themselves in a tough spot. 

With only 2.5 seconds, the Aggies’ Marlene Aniambossou beat her defenders to the glass and laid it in.

Following timeouts from each side, the Broncos were able to perfectly execute their inbounds play. Mallory McGwire caught Braydey Hodgins’ lobbed pass in the air and, in one motion, laid it off the glass to tie it up 56-56 with 1.4 seconds left. 

The Aggies called one final time out to seal the Broncos’ fate. Aniambossou was able to get between the key and 3-point line and turn around to make the game-winning bucket right as the buzzer rang.  

“I thought Utah State was a hungrier team, and we played not to lose like we’ve done in the past. We just didn’t execute down the stretch,” said head coach Gordy Presell. “We had three turnovers, and two wide-open missed shots from the corners, and didn’t get stops on the other end. They hit two 3-pointers on us down the stretch where we were supposed to go over the ball screen, and we went under because it’s easier. Yeah, just tough.”

The night featured a crowd “pink out,” put on by sorority Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) to show support of Breast Cancer Awareness. Saturday’s game also paid tribute to the organization’s 50 seasons of women’s basketball.

Boise State women's basketball on the court against the Utah State Aggies

Photo by Chandler Thornton.

Fans were given “Think Pink” ribbons provided by Zeta Tau Alpha in addition to pink shirts. ZTA noted that they were very grateful for all those who stopped by to grab a ribbon or shirt, showing that they stood not only with their organization but also Boise State women’s basketball. 

“Personally it shows that the women’s basketball team is supporting both ZTA and Breast Cancer Education and Awareness. By supporting [ZTA], it shows that the athletic department cares about students outside of the sports programs which in the past it hasn’t felt like that,” said sophomore ZTA member Natalie Mercick. “It’s definitely nice that the women’s basketball team is in support of all students and I think that even though BSU as a whole has a long way to go in terms of supporting all students, that this is a really great start and hopefully something that is very meaningful.”  

At halftime, Boise State honored the 50 seasons played by the women’s basketball team. Players from over the years were asked to come back to be recognized for the efforts they gave to the team over their time spent with the Broncos. 

Boise State (16-9 overall, 8-5 MW) is on the road this week, traveling to face Air Force on Feb. 12 and San Diego on Feb. 15. The team currently sits at fifth place in the conference with just two weeks left in the regular season. The Broncos have been the regular-season Mountain West champions for the last two years (2018-19) and Mountain West tournament champions for the last three years (2017-19).

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