Dec. 4, 2005
BOISE, Idaho - - The freshmen duo of Katie Appleton and Amanda DuRocher combined for 39 points to lead the Washington State women basketball team to an 80-76 overtime victory over the Boise State Broncos, Sunday at Taco Bell Arena.
Appleton scored 20 points - including nine in overtime - while DuRocher contributed 19 points, a point total that was primarily accounted for by five 3-pointers.
Coming off consecutive six-win campaigns, the Cougars have already equaled that victory total this season. At 6-1, WSU is off to its best start since beginning the 1994-95 season with a 7-1 mark. In the process, the Cougars handed the Broncos their first defeat of the season (5-1).
"Today it was depth; we had kids who stepped up," WSU Head Coach Sherri Murrell said. "We were extremely tired; the kids' legs were spent. We have been playing a lot of games (lately) and they were tired. We gave up a lot more defensively. I told them, `Mental toughness is a key factor for teams winning.' Today we got challenged and had a good performance overall."
Tied at 71 at the end of regulation, Appleton began overtime with consecutive 3-pointers to give WSU a lead it would not relinquish in the extra session. The Broncos managed to pull within three at 77-74 but Appleton made 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Boise State's Jessica Thompson led all scorers with 32 points while Nadia Begay added 18 for BSU.
"It was a total team effort today," Murrell said. "Some people who didn't play well came back in and did a better job.
"This was a tough crowd," Murrell added. "The key moment was when they got ahead of us and we just dug in and didn't let the crowd affect us."
Up 38-37 at the half, Keisha Moore opened the second half with a bucket to extend WSU's lead to 40-37. The Cougars had little time to enjoy their advantage as the Broncos went on a 7-0 run to take a 44-40 lead with 17:45 left. The Broncos' run was snapped by a DuRocher trey, her fourth of the game.
DuRocher's bucket began a 13-2 WSU run, transforming a 44-40 deficit to a 53-46 lead with 12:40 remaining.
Boise State trimmed the Cougars' lead to 53-49 with a 3-pointer from Begay, but once again DuRocher stymied the Broncos' momentum with her fifth trey of the game.
The Cougars extended their lead to as much as eight at 61-53 with 7:25 left, but Boise State outscored WSU 16-4 over the next six minutes to take a 69-65 advantage with 1:20 left.
A Nikki Stratton bucket pulled WSU to within two, but a pair of Thompson free throws re-established Boise State's lead to four at 71-67 with 44 seconds left.
Charmaine Jones cut the deficit to two with 28 seconds left and then fouled Thompson with 23 seconds remaining. Thompson gave WSU life as she was unable to convert on either free throw attempt.
On the ensuing possession, Jones was fouled by Thompson going to the bucket and tied the game at 71 by converting both of her free throw attempts with 14 seconds remaining. Boise State had a chance for the win but Thompson missed a jumper with 5 seconds remaining.
Down 16-13, the Cougars went on an 11-0 run to open a 24-16 lead at the 7:35 mark of the first half. The run was highlighted by consecutive treys from DuRocher, and capped by a 3-point play from Ebonee Coates.
The Broncos gradually chipped away at the Cougars' advantage before finally taking the lead at 35-34 on a Jackie Lee bucket with a minute remaining. Lee's basket capped a 6-0 Boise State run, but Benz immediately responded with a bucket of her own to give WSU the lead right back at 36-35. WSU eventually went into the break with a 38-37 advantage as both teams traded baskets to end the half.
Both teams shot over 50 percent during the opening 20 minutes: WSU was 14-of-27 (51.9 percent) while BSU made 16-of-30 (53.3 percent) from the field. For the game, WSU was 29-of-71 (40.8 percent) while Boise State was 29-of-74 (39.2 percent).
WSU returns to action at No. 10 Minnesota, Saturday, Dec. 10. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m. Pacific time.