Courtesy of Braidon Nourse

LAS VEGAS – An individual performance worthy of all-time status. A team effort which makes you think: how far can the Boise State women’s basketball team go if this is the level of play?

“It’s huge, not just for me, but for the team,” Broncos forward Abby Muse said. She became the second-ever player to record a triple-double in the Mountain West Women’s Basketball Championship with 12 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. The performance propelled Boise State to an 85-49 win over Utah State in the first round of the Mountain West tournament.

“I think everyone just needed this game to get back on track going further into the tournament,” the senior said. “A while ago, we were kind of on a high and then it really dropped off this past week, so getting back to where we want to be is exactly what we needed today.”

She was well on her way to the mark with plenty of time left in the third quarter, and perhaps could have surpassed it then and there if coach Gordy Presnell opted to keep her in with 4:37 left in the frame. At the time, all she needed was two rebounds and three assists.

But anything worth having is worth waiting for.

At halftime, her stat line of 10 points, four rebounds and five assists might have raised eyebrows or brought up some ‘what ifs,’ but Muse was just focused on the task at hand: beat Utah State and avenge the three straight losses to end the regular season, which slid them from the No. 2 seed all the way down to sixth.

Her 10th assist was on a play with which the Broncos had found success all night. Against a zone, Muse caught a pass at the elbow, caught a double team and found a wide-open Natalie Pasco in the corner, who drained a 3 to push the lead to 35 with less than three minutes to go.

A perfect ending to a near-perfect outing from Muse and the Broncos. An all-time performance was, in many ways, just what Boise State needed to lift itself out of the funk it had put itself in.

“I’m excited for (Muse),” Presnell said. “All of us were down, the coaches especially, in the last week and a half or so. We worked pretty hard to get to where we’re at and we had a rough week. But I’m excited that hopefully we get some confidence tonight and a little success.”

In the background of Muse’s historic achievement, the Broncos set season highs in rebounds (67) and assists (24). Sixty-seven rebounds was tied for the fifth-most all-time for a single game in Boise State history.

Four Broncos scored in the double digits, including Trista Hull, who tallied 10 points and contributed 10 rebounds of her own for her second career double-double.

The win sets up a quarterfinal against Wyoming, with whom the Broncos split wins this season. With one of the best bigs in the league, the Cowgirls should give Muse much more of a challenge inside.

“It will be a great matchup; they have one of the premier posts in the league and they run great offensive sets,” Presnell said. “They’ve always been a good defensive team, too. They’re very well coached, so we’ll have our hands full. That should be a really good game.”