Fresno State will try to match its season-best winning streak of three Saturday afternoon, when the Bulldogs visit Boise State in a Mountain West Conference women’s basketball game.
Awaiting the Bulldogs (10-6, 3-2) will be a Broncos team (12-3, 2-2) coming off a bye following a two-game skid that stunted the program’s best start in more than 40 years.
Fresno State will need to rebound and defend the 3-point line if it wants to keep its streak and Boise State’s slide alive at Taco Bell Arena, where the Broncos are 9-1 this season. The lone home defeat was a 58-55 loss to UNLV on Jan. 4.
Senior guard Brooke Pahukoa leads the Broncos at 14.2 points per game, fueled by 40.3 percent shooting from long range.
Pahukoa’s long-range efficiency, along with that of Marta Hermida (36.5) and Shay Shaw (35.3) adds up to Boise State averaging a conference-best 8.9 3-pointers per game. The Broncos are second in 3-point percentage (35.9) on 134-of-373 shooting. Wyoming leads at 38.1 percent.
While they like to shoot, the Broncos also have proven their effectiveness in generating second chances by leading the conference at 14.8 offensive rebounds per game. Shaw, a 6-foot-1 forward, is averaging 7.3 rebounds overall, with 6-3 center Marjike Vanderschaaf at 6.3.
Boise State leads the Mountain West in scoring at 72.1 points per game.
The game will be the first of two regular-season meetings between the teams, with Fresno State hosting Feb. 28.
Fresno State has won 14 of the past 15 in the series. The Bulldogs had a 12-game streak before losing 75-66 in overtime on Feb. 14, 2015. That was Jaime White’s first, and so far only, visit to Taco Bell Arena since becoming Bulldogs coach two seasons ago.
We didn’t play (at Boise State) last year, but the year before that we had a barn-burner, so we look forward to playing there. They’re a good team. They’ve come out and done a good job early in the season, although they’ve dropped the last two. But honestly, though, in conference anybody can win any game. You have to be ready for everybody.
Fresno State coach Jaime White
FRESNO STATE VS. BOISE STATE
- Saturday: 1 p.m. at Taco Bell Arena
- Records: Bulldogs 10-6, 3-2 Mountain West; Broncos 12-3, 2-2
- Series/last meeting: Fresno State leads 24-10; Bulldogs won 62-57 on Jan. 9, 2016, in Fresno.
- Webcast/radio: Mountain West Network (themw.com)
- The skinny: Fresno State’s Bego Faz Davalos had her second double-double in a row, finishing with 14 points and 14 rebounds in the Bulldogs’ 63-40 win against Air Force on Wednesday. The 6-foot-3 junior center was held to single digits in both categories through the first three conference games, but has returned to form while leading the team in scoring (14.7 ppg), rebounding (11.2 rpg), blocks (59) and shooting (49.2 percent).