LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowboys could not slow down the high paced offense of the Boise State Broncos, falling on Wednesday evening in the Arena-Auditorium by a score of 90-70.
The Pokes fall to 7-4 overall and 1-3 in the conference with the Broncos winning their school record 12th straight game and move to 12-1 overall and 8-0 in the MW.
“I thought our response was tremendous tonight,” Jeff Linder said. “To only have seven players available and to not have a post player tonight even when we got down I thought the kids really competed. As I told them in the locker room, we don’t ever want to get used to losing, but I wanted them to learn from the experience of playing against a team of the caliber of Boise State and to compete to the end. To understand how hard we had to fight on the defensive end and then offensively the effort you have to make to space properly, to back cut, to create easy baskets, to make the extra pass -- we’re going to continue to build ourselves into a good team.
"Sometimes you have to experience some of these things against a good team in order to move forward. You don’t learn until you see it and feel it, and we’ll get better from it.”
The Pokes were led by junior Hunter Maldonado with 17 points for his 10th game in double-figures this season and 49th of his career. He also added nine rebounds for the Pokes and three assists. Freshman Jeremiah Oden added 10 points for his fourth game in double-figures this season. Freshman Marcus Williams added 13 points off the bench and has scored in double-figures in every game this season. Sophomore Kwane Marble II added 10 points for his fourth game in double-figures this season.
Wyoming was held to 39 percent from the field for the night, as the Broncos shot 54 percent. Boise State scored 52 points in the paint, as Wyoming played without big man Hunter Thompson. Both teams also shot 90 percent from the free throw line for the night with the Pokes getting 14 attempts and BSU getting 23.
“I told our guys that our guards probably have to be our best rebounders,” Linder said. “Our guards have to get in on the defensive glass and rebound. I thought it was a group effort tonight to improve in that area. When you get stops and secure the rebound, then you’re able to get out in transition. We’re building the right habits. In the second half tonight, I thought we found ways to win stretches of the game because we pushed through when we were tired. We weren’t able to do that in the second half on Monday.”
Boise State hit their first three shots of the contest to take an early 9-6 lead on the Cowboys in the opening three minutes of action. Wyoming got three-pointers from Maldonado and Marble II.
After Maldonado made it a 9-8 contest, the Broncos went on a 5-0 run thanks to Derrick Alston Jr. to make it a 14-8 game with 15:55 left in the half, but the run was shut down on an alley-oop slam from junior Drake Jeffries seconds later.
Boise State opened the game 8-of-10 from the floor to build a 21-12 advantage. Marcus Shaver added an and-one play to build the lead to 26-12 with 12:09 left in the opening frame. After the Broncos built the lead to 13-points at 30-17, Jeffries added a triple to make it a 10-point contest with 9:39 left in the half.
Wyoming would go scoreless for over four minutes, as the Broncos built the lead to 16-points at 38-22 with just over six minutes left in the half. Boise State continued the pressure on the Pokes and took a 55-33 lead at the break.
Oden and sophomore Kenny Foster added baskets for a 57-37 Boise State lead in the early goings of the second half. Boise State would hit three-straight field goals and build their advantage to 66-43 with 14:30 left in the game.
Wyoming cut the deficit to 19-points on back-to-buckets from Maldonado and Williams, but Boise State answered with a three-pointer and a layup. The Broncos would maintain the 20-point advantage halfway through the half, but the lead was cut to 19-points on a Xavier DuSell three-pointer for a 79-60 contest with 7:10 remaining.
The Pokes made it an 81-64 game holding Boise State without a basket for nearly four minutes with Williams and Foster leading the charge for the Brown and Gold. But The Pokes could not break into the Boise State lead anymore falling 90-70.
The Broncos were led by six players in double-figures including all five starters. Devonair Doutrive led the way with 17 points. Abu Kigab added 15 points and guard RayJ Dennis added 14 points and led the team with seven rebounds.
The Cowboys are back in action on Saturday heading to the Air Force Academy to take on the Falcons in a 2 p.m. start on the Mountain West Network.
- University of Wyoming press release