LAS VEGAS – It wasn’t the 48-point victory Boise State had over the Aggies last time out, but style points don’t matter in March.
The Broncos took down Utah State 66-58 Sunday night in the opening round of the Mountain West Tournament at the Thomas and Mack Center.
It wasn’t pretty at times – Boise State committed 21 turnovers – but the sixth-seeded Broncos led from start to finish to advance to play No. 3 seed Colorado State at 8:30 p.m. MT on The Mountain West Network.
“I’m just glad we won,” Coach Gordy Presnell said. “We didn’t care if we won by one or a hundred … We’re excited about getting a chance to play tomorrow.”
Mya Hansen had her first breakout game since returning from a knee injury Feb. 23, lighting up the scoreboard with a team-high 20 points on 7-12 shooting from the field.
Despite wearing a bulky knee brace and playing in her first Mountain West Tournament game, the freshman guard played with plenty of confidence. She called for the ball on several 3-point shots that went right through the net.
“It was just more excitement that I got to be back on the court,” Hansen said. “It definitely takes a toll on you when you get injured but coming back on the court is always a great feeling.”
Boise State had a 47-28 rebounding edge and outscored Utah State 28-3 in bench points. The Broncos also played strong defense as the Aggies shot just 13 percent from 3-point range (3 of 23) and 33 percent overall (20 of 61).
Elodie Lalotte had a strong third quarter to lead the Broncos, scoring eight points on 4-4 shooting in a span of 3:35. The forward finished with 10 points while hauling in nine boards for the game.
All-Mountain West freshmen guards Dani Bayes (11 points) and Natalie Pasco (9 points) were part of a 42-point effort from Boise State’s freshmen.
The Broncos will face the third-seeded Rams tomorrow for a chance to go to the Mountain West Tournament semifinal game. Boise State fell in both the first two meetings between the teams earlier this season.
Bronco Nation News will be live for the Lithia Ford of Boise Pregame Show around 7:45 p.m. MT to preview the game. For now, here’s the postgame show and highlights from the win over Utah State:
🏀 Highlights from @BroncoSportsWBB's 66-58 win against Utah State#MWMadness | #BleedBlue pic.twitter.com/ZvHF63MPTK
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) March 6, 2023