Freshmen duo leads BSU over Utah Valley

Freshmen duo leads BSU over Utah Valley »Play Video
Boise State tops Utah Valley, 63-60.

BOISE, Idaho - Yaiza Rodriguez Ortego and Tonishia Childress combined for 33 points to lead Boise State as the Broncos rallied from 11 points down to defeat Utah Valley 63-60 in a women's basketball game at Taco Bell Arena on Thursday night. Both freshmen scored career-highs in the win led by Rodriguez Ortego's 21 points followed by Childress with 12. Sophomore center Miquelle Askew matched Childress' points as the Broncos improved to 4-3 on the year with the win.

The game was close throughout the contest with seven ties and six lead changes. Boise State opened the game by going out to a 13-6 lead seven minutes into the period. Up 15-10 with 11:47 to go in the first half, Boise State watched as Utah Valley rallied with a 16-0 run to take a game-high 26-15 lead with eight and half minutes left before the break.

The Broncos rallied pulling to within two points, 31-29, at the half. Rodriguez Ortego and Childress each had five points during the run as Boise State closed the period on a 14-5 run.

The second half saw Rodriguez Ortego open the period by scoring seven points in the first four minutes of action to keep the game close and give her team time to regroup for the final stretch. The largest lead of the half was six points by Utah Valley on three occasions with the last coming with 12 minutes to play at 48-42.

Down six with 12 to play, the freshmen duo brought the Broncos back with back-to-back treys by Childress and Rodriguez Ortego, respectively, to tie the score at 48. Childress then gave the Broncos their first lead at 50-48 on a layup with 9:38 on the clock. It was Boise State's first lead since the 12 minute mark of the first half when they were up 15-13.

The game then went back and forth with the teams trading leads until the 6:13 mark of the second period. Down two points, Boise State's Brooke Pahukoa converted a pair of free throws to tie the score at 54. Shortly after that she hit a jumper off a missed Rodriguez Ortego 3-point attempt to give the Broncos the lead for good at 56-54.

Boise State extended its advantage to five points, 63-58, when Askew hit a pair of free throws with 2:19 left on the clock, those proved to be the final points for the blue and orange. The Broncos' defense then held off the Wolverines who were unable to get a good shot off  scoring their final two points on 2-of-4 shooting from the charity stripe.

UVU had one last chance to tie the contest in the closing seconds but a 3-point attempt by their season scoring leader Katie Kuklok fell short at the buzzer. She finished the game as the high point scorer with 29 going 9-of-19 from the floor with four 3-pointers (4-of-11) and went 7-of-9 from the free-throw line. The Wolverines had two players combine for 43 of the teams 60 points as Tina Doughty added 14. The duo also combined for 16 rebounds, eight each.

Boise State finished the night shooting 39.1 percent (25-of-64) from the floor, 25 percent (6-of-24) from the arc and a season-low 50 percent (7-of-14) from the free-throw line. The freshmen duo of Rodriguez Ortego and Childress could well be the shortest tandem to ever lead the Broncos in scoring at 5-foot-5 apiece. Rodriguez Ortego who started at the point but played primarily at the off guard in the second half went 9-of-15 from the floor and 3-of-8 from 3-point range. Childress played point when she was in the game going 5-of-8 from the floor and 2-of-4 from the arc.

Askew was right there with those two finishing with 12 points, three rebounds, one assist, two blocks and one steal. Freshman Brooke Pahukoa tallied seven points, all in the second half, to go with four boards, three assists and one steal. Kayla Reinhart led the Broncos early in the game before finishing with six points, team and career-high six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Keiahnna Engel matched Reinhart's six rebounds and added five points, three assists and two steals.

The Broncos played without the services of Lexie Der and Brandi Henton because of injury, but did see Brittney Pahukoa for the first time this season playing nine minutes with two rebounds.

Boise State will now hit the road this weekend when they travel to Portland, Ore., to take on the University of Portland Pilots at 3 p.m. (Mountain) on Sunday.