BOISE – Dani Bayes didn’t really want to talk about it.
Not about her return from injury, but an errant shot at the end of the second quarter that drew the ire of Boise State women’s basketball coach Gordy Presnell.
“I don’t know what the heck she was thinking,” Presnell said with a laugh. “But we’ll talk more later.”
However, outside of that, the Boise State sophomore guard was solid in a 77-35 rout of the NAIA’s College of Idaho in the Broncos’ season opener Monday night at Extra Mile Arena. She recorded 10 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists in just 16 minutes of action.
“Dani gave us a lift,” Presnell said. “She really did.”
That came towards the end of the first quarter with Boise State (1-0) nursing a 10-6 lead. Bayes subbed in and almost immediately hit a base-line jumper with 3 minutes and 30 seconds remaining in the period. Twenty-nine seconds later, she drilled a 3-pointer and was all of a sudden the Broncos’ leading scorer. It all helped jump start a 14-0 run and the Yotes (0-4) never threatened again.
“I thought she did an outstanding job,” Presnell said. “She hasn’t gotten a lot of reps in the last two weeks.
“Excited to have her back and just build on this and to get a little better hopefully for next week.”
This was the first time Bayes saw the floor since suffering a high-ankle sprain on her right foot during a scrimmage two weeks ago.
“I definitely doubted myself a lot coming back because it’s never really going to feel the same,” Bayes said. “We had some turnovers at the end and the girl was in front of me and I’m like, ‘Why am I not running faster?’ But my leg just wouldn’t listen to me. But that conditioning is a big part of just getting back into game shape.”
Bayes had a game-high eight points at the halfway point. She reached the double-digit barrier mark in scoring about midway through the third quarter on a nice layup. It helped put the Broncos up by 40 points. So shortly after, Bayes headed back to the bench for the remainder of the night to rest an ankle that she says is about 85%.
Bayes made the All-Mountain West Freshman Team a season ago. And she’s expected to be reinserted back into the starting lineup once fully healthy.
“It’s always fun to come back,” Bayes said. “It’s always hard to sit on the sidelines and watch. But I love those girls. They fought hard. And just coming back, it just feels good to help out and bring something that I know I can bring to the table.”
Alyssa Christensen also had a big night for the Broncos.
The junior forward is the lone new addition to a group that brought everyone else back from a 17-16 team which finished sixth in the Mountain West.
The New Plymouth, Idaho native, who came over from the College of Southern Idaho, made the most of her debut by going a perfect 4-for-4 from the field with 10 points. She also grabbed four boards and was named the player of the game all in just 13 minutes of playing time.
“I think Alyssa Christensen is a great addition to our program,” Presnell said.
“I think she’ll play for sure. I love to play traditional posts and we have four or five of them. But she’s the only one who can really stretch the floor with her perimeter shooting.
“So hopefully, she’ll be a real factor for us and I see her really contributing.”
Sophomore guard Natalie Pasco finished with a game-high 12 points for the Broncos, who had 13 different scorers on the night. The only ones who didn’t get on the statsheet were senior forward Sydney McQuietor and sophomore guard Allie Hueckman. But they only played a combined 12 minutes.
Boise State only ran one of its 30-40 offensive plays. It was a wing-motion ball screen play called “circle.” The Broncos didn’t want to put anything else on tape. They have three more games in this current homestretch, starting next Monday at 6:30 p.m. against Weber State.
“I’m very excited,” Bayes joked when asked about the prospect of playing another play next week. “I love circle, but I’m excited to play one of the other 34 plays that we have.”