LARAMIE – The University of Wyoming came up just short in its efforts to take the Mountain West lead Tuesday night in Boise, Idaho.

In a battle of the only remaining undefeated teams in conference play, UW erased a double-digit deficit in the second half against Boise State. It was the Broncos who stole momentum in the closing moments, however, as the Cowboys fell 65-62 in their first MW defeat of the season.

“It was a tough, gritty college basketball game,” UW coach Jeff Linder said. “I said it was going to be a 12-round heavyweight fight. We almost got knocked out in the ninth or 10th round, when there was about six minutes left and we went down 10.

“I thought you really saw the resiliency and character of our team there in the way we responded to get ourselves back in the game ... but down the stretch those last two minutes, give Boise State credit.”

Stout defense led to a low-scoring first half, with neither team shooting above 40% and the Broncos (16-4 overall, 7-0 Mountain West) taking a 30-24 lead into the break. This was a notable difference from the second half, with both teams shooting 50% or better from the field over the final 20 minutes.

The Pokes (15-3, 4-1) trailed by 10 with seven minutes left in the second half, but they quickly climbed back into the contest – taking a two-point lead with a 16-4 run over the next five minutes. UW was unable to cash in on opportunities down the stretch, however.

The Cowboys turned the ball over twice and missed an open 3-point attempt that would’ve given them the lead in the final two minutes, as Boise State proceeded to out-score them 7-2 in this span.

The Cowboys have been among the best teams in the country at protecting the basketball, entering the game in the top-20 with 10.3 turnovers per game. This wasn’t the case in Boise, as UW had 14 turnovers and four within a critical stretch of four-and-a-half minutes in the second half.

“Our movement off the ball allowed us to create some opportunities and advantages in terms of getting shots and forcing two (defenders) on the ball, and then being able to get the ball to Graham (Ike) as we moved it more,” Linder said. “We did a good job in the second half, we just had too many turnovers.”

Ike led the Pokes with 19 points and nine rebounds, with senior guards Hunter Maldonado and Drake Jeffries adding 17 and 12 points, respectively. The Broncos also received quality play from their star forward, though, as senior Abu Kigab poured 18 points – including seven straight in the final 94 seconds to close out the game.

UW will return to action Friday at Air Force, with tipoff set for 4 p.m.


Wyoming: Jeffries 3-7 3-4 12, Wenzel 3-4 0-1 7, Maldonado 4-9 8-9 17, Oden 1-3 0-0 2, Ike 8-18 3-5 19, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0, Reynolds 2-4 0-0 5, Foster 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-45 14-19 62

Boise State: Degenhart 5-7 2-4 14, Shaver Jr. 2-6 0-0 5, Akot 2-9 0-0 5, Kigab 6-12 5-6 18, Armus 3-5 2-2 8, Rice 1-5 2-4 5, Kuzmanovic 0-0 2-2 2, Smith 3-8 0-0 8, Milner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 22-52 13-18 65

Halftime: BSU 30, UW 24. 3-pointers: UW 6-16 (Jeffries 3-6, Wenzel 1-2, Reynolds 1-2, Maldonado 1-3, Ike 0-1, Oden 0-2); BSU 8-25 (Degenhart 2-4, Smith 2-6, Shaver Jr. 1-3, Akot 1-3, Rice 1-4, Kigab 1-5). Rebounds: UW 30 (Ike 9, Wenzel 7); BSU 27 (Armus 5, Rice 5, Smith 5). Assists: UW 6 (Maldonado 4); BSU 10 (Kigab 5). Turnovers: UW 14 (Wenzel 6); BSU 10 (Three with 2). Blocks: UW 2 (Jeffries); BSU 3 (Armus 2). Steals: UW 3 (Jeffries, Wenzel, Maldonado); BSU 6 (Six with 1). Team fouls: UW 17; BSU 19. Fouled out: BSU (Kigab)

Attendance: 8,292

Recommended for you

comments powered by Disqus