Going into Saturday’s matinee contest with Utah State, Boise State had a chance to get back over .500 on the season for the first time since Nov. 20 with a win over the Aggies.
The Broncos (15-14, 10-6 MW) did just that – dominating Utah State from the tip and recording their biggest win over a conference opponent since joining the Mountain West in a commanding 89-41 victory at ExtraMile Arena.
“It was awesome,” freshman guard Natalie Pasco said. “I think everyone getting to play was just a lot of fun to see. We’re a really close team so everyone just hypes each other up, it’s a lot of fun.”
Boise State jumped out to an early 16-2 lead over Utah State to start the first quarter, holding the Aggies 0-10 shooting from the field through the first eight minutes of the game.
“We limited them to one shot, and I thought the big thing was the rebounding,” coach Gordy Presnell said. “It was 64-26 (in rebounds) or something like that so we didn’t give them more than one shot at a time and that was key.”
The Broncos held the Aggies to seven points less than their previous season low. Heading into Saturday’s contest the low scoring number for Utah State was 48 points against Wyoming.
Despite it being senior day for the Broncos, Pasco was the star of the show. The freshman guard put up a career-high 29 points on 50% shooting from the field, including going 5-9 from deep.
Pasco outscored the whole Utah State team 19-17 in the first half.
“Natalie was fantastic,” Presnell said. “She was a great scorer in high school and had her opportunity, they sucked down on the post quite a bit so she got some great looks and knocked them down for us.”
Pasco wasn’t the only freshman lighting up the scoreboard, with Tatum Thompson also scoring 13 points to pair with four rebounds. Thompson had several drives inside where some could’ve mistaken the guard for a freight train heading to the hoop.
“I think it’s just added up over the years of high school and just keep going to the rim even if there’s somebody there,” Thompson said.
Forward Elodie Lalotte tallied up nine points to complement her 10 rebounds while Abby Muse and Trista Hull both hauled in nine boards.
The Broncos had 13 players see over four minutes of action in the win.
Boise State will hit the road for two more games at San Jose State and Colorado State to wrap up the regular season before heading to Las Vegas for the Mountain West Tournament. As of Saturday at 6 p.m., the Broncos sit in fifth place in the Mountain West at 10-6, one game behind a three-way tie for second place with San Diego State, Colorado State and Wyoming.
“From the beginning of the season we just wanted to keep pushing,” Pasco said. “I think that where we are now just shows how much we’ve worked in the past and just been able to put it all together.”
Postgame interviews from Presnell, Pasco and Thompson are linked below: