Comeback falls short at Boise State, 65-62
* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release
BOISE, Idaho -- The Wyoming Cowboys saw their six-game winning streak snapped, as Boise State won their 13th straight in a 65-62 contest in ExtraMile Arena in Boise, Idaho on Tuesday.
The Cowboys trailed by double-digits twice in the second half and battle back to take leads, but late trips to the line by Boise State dropped the Pokes to 15-3 overall and 4-1 in the league play.
Wyoming had a chance to tie the contest in the closing seconds, but the effort fell short for the first lost since December.
“That was two really good teams in a tough road environment,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “For us to be down 10 and respond shows character. We had some empty trips down the floor that cost us. We played good enough to win, but sometimes it's making plays and we didn’t. We have to put this behind us and get ready for a tough test at Air Force. “
Wyoming was led by forward Graham Ike with 19 points. It marked 17th game in double-figures this season. He also added nine rebounds. Hunter Maldonado added 17 points for his 16th game in double-figures this season and added four assists and rebounds. Drake Jeffries netted his 11th double-digit scoring contest of the season with 12 points.
The Pokes shot 47 percent from the field against the Broncos, who hold teams to 40 percent for the season. Wyoming held a 30-27 advantage on the glass against one of the nation’s top rebounding teams. The two teams combined for 26 points off turnovers.
Both teams got off to a slow start each shooting 33 percent from the field in the opening minutes. Boise State’s Mladen Armus recorded an and-one play to build an 8-5 advantage for the Broncos with 13:37 left to play in the first half.
The Pokes went without a field goal for over three minutes until Ike tied the contest at 8-8 with a jumper at the 12:18 mark. He would add another bucket to give Wyoming a 10-8 lead at 10:47 of the half. Wyoming would hold the Broncos without a bucket until Abu Kigab tied the game at the 9:53 mark of the stanza.
Boise State went on a 6-0 run with a pair of three pointers to take a 16-12 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the first frame. Noah Reynolds would give the Pokes a 17-16 lead with five-straight points, but Armus added another and-one for a 19-17 lead for Boise State with just over six minutes left.
The Pokes would go scoreless nearly three minutes, as the Broncos would build a 28-20 lead with 90 seconds left in the half. The Broncos would add another bucket, but Ike added a pair of free throws and Brendan Wenzel added a slam for a 30-24 game for the Broncos at the break.
Boise State opened the second frame with a 5-0 run to take a 35-24 lead in the opening minute. But the Pokes responded with a 14-2 run over five minutes to take 38-37 lead with 13:45 left in the game. Jeffries, Maldonado and Brendan Wenzel added threes with Ike adding five points.
Ike would give Wyoming a three-point lead at 42-39 at the 11:07 for the largest lead of the contest for the Pokes. The Broncos responded with a run of their own this time of 8-0 to take a 47-42 lead with under 10 minutes remaining.
Boise State would add another run this time of 7-0 to make it a 54-44 game with 6:47 left. Four turnovers by the Cowboys fueled the Boise run that was halted by a Jeffries three pointer. Free throws by Jeffries and Maldonado and an and-one from Maldonado made it a 56-54 game for BSU with 3:51 remaining.
Jeffries added the four-point play to give Wyoming a 60-58 lead with 2:46 left in the game. Kigab tied the contest with a jumper with 1:34 left in the game. The Broncos would then convert on three-of-four free throws to take a 63-60 lead with 46 seconds left.
Kigab added two more free for a 65-60 lead with 27 seconds remaining. The Pokes would make it a three-point game on an offensive rebound and layup from Wenzel, but he missed the chance for a three-point play. Max Rice would be fouled and miss both shots for the Broncos setting up a chance for the Pokes to tie the game, but Jeffries missed as the Pokes fell 65-62.
The Broncos were led by Kigab with 18 points. Tyson Degenhart added 14 point for Boise State.
The Cowboys return to action on Friday heading to Air Force to take on the Falcons at 4 p.m. on the Mountain West Network.
15 Questions You Should Never Ask Someone From Wyoming
- 15 Questions You Should Never Ask Someone From Wyoming