BOISE, Idaho--The Boise State women's basketball team rallied late but fell five points short of downing Washington State last night in Taco Bell Arena.
Coach Gordy Presnell's team trailed 46-31 entering the fourth quarter, but freshman forward Jordan Tully's jumper with 1:16 left cut the lead to 55-50. Mariah Cooks of WSU hit two free throws and sealed the victory. Boise State star guard Brook Pahukoa missed the game with an injury.
“We were just trying to keep battling,” Boise State head coach Gordy Presnell said. “I wasn’t putting up the white flag when I put the freshmen in there at the end. I just wanted to see if we could get a little more energy and a spark in there at the end.”
The Broncos mounted a similar rally prior to halftime. Trailing 24-10 with 5:28 remaining in the second quarter, redshirt freshman Marijke Vanderschaaf hit two free throws to end an 18-4 run by the Cougars. Ella Fotu and Brittney Pahukoa also hit shots in the final minutes as the Lady Broncos ended the half on a 9-2 run.
Vanderschaaf led Boise State with 15 points and added five rebounds.
“I think with Brooke gone, people had to step up into different roles,” Vandershcaaf said. “My role happened to be scoring and rebounding. I think every game it can be different.”
Five true or redshirt freshmen played for Boise State, led by Fotu's career-high 30 minutes. Freshman forward Joyce Harrell played a key role in Boise State’s final comeback attempt. Harrell finished the game with eight points on 4-of-7 shooting and six rebounds.
“I was really pleased with the play of some of our freshmen,” Presnell said. “I thought that Marijke was terrific, I thought that Joyce Harrell was absolutely terrific. I think we have some real positives to build on.
Borislava Hristova led Washington State with 18 points.
Boise State drops to 3-3 on the season. The Broncos travel to Portland Sunday at 2 p.m. MT. The Pilots are 2-6 on the season with losses to Pac-12 opponents Oregon State and Washington.