Boise State Advances in WBI
By Doug Link, BSU Sports Information
PHOENIX, Ariz. - Boise State won an extremely tight game Thursday night defeating Grand Canyon 52-51 on the road in the opening round of the Women’s Basketball Invitational in Phoenix, Ariz. Yaiza Rodriguez Ortego hit a mid-range jumper with 1:39 left to give Boise State a three-point lead and all the points they needed to claim the win. Miquelle Askew led the Broncos with 13 points, followed by Rodriguez Ortego with 12 and Deanna Weaver with seven points and team-high nine rebounds.
Boise State improved to 18-13 overall and will now travel to play at Stephen F. Austin Saturday at 6 p.m. (Mountain). Miquelle Askew fouled out of the game but not before she led Boise State with 13 points and four rebounds. She was followed by Rodriguez Ortego who scored 10 of her 12 points in the second half, to go with four rebounds, three assists and career-high six steals. Deanna Weaver added seven points and team-high nine rebounds.
Boise State shot 37.1 percent (23-of-62) from the floor, 23.1 percent (3-of-13) from the arc and 60 percent (3-of-5) from the free-throw line. Grand Canyon shot 38.3 percent (18-of-47) from the floor, 15.8 percent (3-of-19) from beyond the arc and 70.6 percent (12-of-17) from the free-throw line. Grand Canyon out rebounded Boise State 38-to-35, but the Broncos dominated second chance points 16-to-4.
Deanna Daniels led all scorers in the game with 24 for Grand Canyon to go with 10 rebounds for a double-double. Johnna Brown also added a double-double with 12 points and 12 boards to lead the Antelopes on the glass.
The game was within six points the entire way with Grand Canyon leading most of the first half including a game-high six points on two occasions. Boise State took its first lead since scoring the opening basket with 15:51 left in the second half on a Rodriguez Ortego jumper to put the Blue and Orange up 33-31.
Boise State led by as many as four points on three occasions the last coming at 9:28 with the Broncos up 39-35 on a Tonishia Childress fastbreak layup. Grand Canyon rallied to take a two-point lead at 44-42 with 7:37 to go to claim the Antelopes last lead of the contest.
Down two, Rodriguez Ortego nailed a 3-pointer from the right corner to give Boise State the lead at 45-44 with 4:21 left. Askew converted a layup moments later and the Broncos were up 47-44 with 3:35 to go.
Grand Canyon’s Deanna Daniels hit a driving layup and converted a plus-one free throw to tie the score at 47 with 3:11 remaining.
Rodriguez Ortego put the Broncos in the lead for good when she converted her own old fashion 3-point play with 2:41 on the clock. The Antelopes Justine Johnson hit a shot to cut Boise State’s lead to one at 50-49 with two minutes to go, setting up Rodriguez Ortego’s game clinching shot with 1:39 to play on a jumper straight down the middle for a 52-49 advantage.
The first half was close throughout the period. However, the Broncos trailed nearly the entire way by as many as six points on two occasions, the first came with 14:21 on the clock and the Antelopes up 10-4. The final time was late in the period when the Broncos found themselves down 26-20 with 4:12 remaining.
Boise State pulled to within 27-26 on back-to-back field goals by Rodriguez Ortego and Askew with 1:08 to go. Grand Canyon took a four point 30-26 lead into intermission.