LARAMIE -- Jeff Linder said last week his team got a firsthand look at urgency, desperation and what a title contention looks like in a lopsided loss at Nevada.

If his team didn't receive that message in Reno, Boise State emphatically hammered home the point Saturday night inside the Arena-Auditorium.

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Led by the usual suspects, Tyson Degenhart and Max Rice, the visitors shot 54% from the field and added nine triples in a 92-72 rout of the Cowboys, who have now dropped five of their last six and firmly sit in eighth place in the Mountain West with just four games remaining in the regular season.

Boise State is tied atop the conference standings with Utah State, moving to 19-8 overall and 10-4 in conference play.

Mason Walters finished the night with 15 points. Alarmingly, the senior forward didn't pull down a single rebound. He said confidence has not wavered despite this recent skid.

"I mean, nobody likes to lose by 20 on their home court," he said. "Obviously, it's tough to have that crowd -- a lot of people came to the game -- then we didn't play it as we should have and kind of got embarrassed. So, I mean, I think just going forward, we're all positive still. We know that we beat three of the last four teams that we play, so there's no reason why we can't compete with anybody. And I 100% believe that. Like I said, we just have to find a way to put it together."

Embarrassed is the right adjective. And, unfortunately for this group, that's nothing new.

Of Wyoming's 14 losses, a baker's dozen have come via double figures. Utah State won by just eight inside this building more than a week ago, but it's safe to say they let off the gas late.

The Broncos did not.

Five of those guys were in double-figures with 10 minutes left in regulation.

Degenhart led all scorers with 22. O'Mar Stanley, a junior transfer from St. John's chipped in with 19 and Rice capped his night with 16 on 4-of-9 shooting and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free-throw line. Roddie Anderson finished with 12 points and Jace Whiting added 10 off the bench.

It helped that they faced little to no resistance on the defensive end of the floor, an issue which has plagued the Pokes throughout conference play.

Wyoming ranks 10th out of 11 teams in scoring defense, allowing nearly 78 points per outing. Only San Jose State is worse. Not by much, either. The fledgling Spartans are giving up 78.5. The opposition is also hitting better than 44% of its shots against this Cowboy squad. That also lands them 10th in the standings.

Boise State shot 67% in the first half. 44.4 in the second.

For good measure, they also won the hustle category, out rebounding Wyoming 43-19, including 30-6 in the second frame. Second-chance points were, 19-3.

Linder said this was not a question of effort. The Broncos, he added, are just that good.

So is San Diego State, Utah State, Colorado State, Nevada, UNLV and New Mexico.

"It's not that they won't," Linder said of sitting down and guarding on the defensive end. "I mean, it's not like they don't want to do it. But, you know, over the course of now, 27 games, I mean, tape doesn't lie, the film doesn't lie. If you struggle to guard a little bit, the better teams, the better coaches, offensively, I mean, they're going to try to exploit that. So, that's the challenge."

Kenny Foster, who played a season-high 17 minutes and scored three points in his third game back after a preseason Achilles tear, said the desperation needs to start going both ways.

"The Mountain West is a tremendous conference this year with a lot of bids going into the tournament," he said. "I think that we just have to find that niche that all the other teams have where we can just band together and play as desperate, be as good as we possibly can be. You know, every game matters. It always has, but especially now -- every game matters from this moment on."

Sam Griffin led all scorers with 16. Kael Combs, who Linder said was a bright spot in this one, finished with a dozen on 4-of-6 shooting. Cam Manyawu chipped in with eight points and Akuel Kot netted just six.

While the defense was practically a no-show again Saturday in Laramie, this one needs to be put in perspective.

Give Boise State all the credit. It's offense was efficient and made things look way too easy at times. That team will likely be dancing in three weeks and would you be surprised if they are hanging another conference banner in the rafters of ExtraMile Arena?

Me neither.

While Wyoming has plenty of warts, this was a roster today that mentally wasn't at full strength.

Can you blame them?

Foster, who has been on this roster since 2019, opened the postgame press conference, unprompted, offering his condolences to the families of Charlie Clark, Carson Muir and Luke Slabber, three members of the Wyoming swimming and diving team who lost their lives in a single-accident Thursday afternoon on U.S. Highway 287.

There's no doubt the weight of that tragedy weighed heavy on this roster over the last 48 hours.

"It's a terrible, terrible incident that happened," Foster said. "But we, as a community, we stand behind the families. If there's anything that we can do, as an organization, as a school, as a university, as a community, we will be here for them."

Linder, prefacing his words by saying he is not making any excuses for this loss, said he could tell his team was feeling the emotions of the week during pregame shootarounds, adding the energy "was not right."

"You don't maybe know some of the victims, but at the same time, everybody knows everybody," he said. "I mean, they're always up in the (High Altitude Performance Center) eating, and so on. We always cross paths. So, you could sense that."

Winning and losing basketball games right now seems pretty small in the grand scheme of it all, doesn't it?

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