BSU Wyoming BASKETBALL05.JPG

Boise State guard Jade Loville (30) shoots the ball during the game against Wyoming on Feb. 5 at ExtraMile Arena.

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BOISE — The Boise State women’s basketball team has a big opportunity ahead of it the next week.

Win out, and the Broncos will secure the No. 2 seed in next month’s Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas. Drop a couple of games and Boise State (18-9, 10-5 Mountain West) can potentially fall as far as the No. 4 or No. 5 seed, meaning a showdown with top-seeded Fresno State would come in the tournament semifinals rather than the March 4 championship game.

Boise State will begin a stretch of three games in six days today when it hosts San Jose State at ExtraMile Arena. The Broncos will then travel to New Mexico for a road game on Saturday before returning home Monday for its regular season finale against UNLV.

After the UNLV game, the Bronco will have a week off before heading to Las Vegas, where it hopes to play three games in three days.

“We just have to work and grind,” said sophomore Jade Loville. “Everyday it matters, every day we have to improve on something. Whether its our defense, our transition offense, whatever we’re working on we have to be tuned in. It all matter when we go to the tournament, it all matters now. We talk about making the adjustments now and not waiting until we get on the plane to Vegas. Make the adjustments now so we’re already in our stride when we hit Vegas.”

These next three games won’t be easy for the Broncos as San Jose State (15-10, 9-5) and UNLV (12-13, 8-6) both are also vying for the No. 2 seed in Las Vegas, and New Mexico (14-13, 5-9) was expected to be a Mountain West contender before dropping its first four conference games, including a 83-82 overtime loss in its Dec. 4 conference opener at Boise State.

“It’s important in terms of seeding and placement, we want to wear white (uniforms),” Boise State coach Gordy Presnell said. “You get second we wear white the first two games (of the Mountain West Tournament), so that’s what we’re going for.”

In their two remaining home games, the Broncos will be looking to avenge road losses from earlier this year. Boise State feel 66-65 against UNLV on Jan. 8 and fell 74-61 on Jan. 29 in San Jose.

The loss at San Jose State seemed to give the Spartans an inside track to the No. 2 seed in the tournament, but since that game, they’ve lost four straight games to give Boise State another shot at grabbing a higher seed.

“We’re ever we’re placed, we’re going to go in and give in our best shot,” said senior Ellie Woerner. “But I think second place, that’s a great spot for us to be. I think more important than the seeding in the tournament, it’s good for us to finish out the season strong and get that second place so we have confidence going into the tournament.”

John Wustrow is the assistant sports editor of the Idaho Press. He is a Michigan native and a graduate of Indiana University.

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