BOISE, Idaho -- Hannah Dean hit the go-ahead bucket and the Saints played feisty defense to secure an upset of the Boise State Broncos on Saturday in Taco Bell Arena.
“Hannah Dean was amazing,” Saints coach Rachelle Sayers said. “She led us with seven assists. She hit the game winner. She does everything for us.”
Sayers said the Broncos pressed the Saints every step of the way, creating such a pressure that it was difficult for the Saints to advance the ball into the front court. Carroll used a variety of ball handlers to move the ball. As the Saints ran through their offense, the Broncos’ on-ball defense pestered the Saints enough that Carroll used back doors to get catches and into their offense.
“Finally our kids started to take them off the dribble and we were able to get a lot of draw and kicks,” Sayers said. “Our two guards came alive. Everybody started feeling good.”
The Saints shot 12 of 22 from beyond the arc, a significant improvement just 24 hours after a bad shooting night. On Saturday in Caldwell, the Saints shot 32 percent from the field and 15 percent from the 3-point line, hitting just 4 of 27 attempts.
The Saints shook off that sloppy night and lit it up against the Broncos, who had a significant height advantage.
Carroll led 29-28 going into halftime, and held a lead until four minutes remained in the game. The Broncos built a four-point lead with 3:22 remaining, and then Bailey Pasta -- who finished with a team high-high 13 points -- hit a jumper followed by freshman Christine Denny to tie the game at 60.
A Carroll foul led to the Broncos hitting one of two free throws and then Dean scored to give the Saints the lead.
Carroll’s defense trapped the Broncos on their next possession, knocking the ball away and forcing the Broncos to take a timeout. Out of the timeout, Carroll contested a difficult shot and Dean secured the final rebound.
Carroll upset a team that won the Mountain West last year and made a trip to the NCAA tournament. The Broncos are favored to win their conference again this year.
All that didn’t deter the Saints.
“We just hit shots,” Sayers said. “We just made shots. Our kids made shots. They played with confidence. Wet took a lot of pride in doing the little things. Lifting your teammates up. These guys have bought into that.”
Brittney Johnson also cracked double digits for the Saints, scoring 11 points.
Dean finished with nine points, seven assists, 12 rebounds, four steals and a block.
The Saints play their first games in the PE Center this week. Carroll hosts Saint Thomas on Wednesday, and then Northwest University on Thursday.