Boise State Beats Wyoming Cowboys at the Buzzer
Being short-handed didn’t matter to Boise State, as the Broncos got two huge 3-pointers from Jeff Elorriaga in the final 33 seconds and upset the 25th-ranked Wyoming Cowboys 63-61 Wednesday night in the Mountain West Conference opener for both teams. Elorriaga scored 12 points in the first half and didn’t score again until the last two field goals of the game for the Broncos. Elorriaga finished with 18 points on 6 three’s.
Wyoming (13-1, 0-1) trailed 57-50 with 2:47 left before they surged ahead 59-57. It was spear-headed by Leonard Washington, who hit a 3-pointer and had a steal and dunk that tied the game at 57. Riley Grabau had a basket and two free throws that book-ended the spurt.
Boise State (13-2, 1-0) responded with Elorriaga’s first 3-pointer. Josh Adams got fouled on a drive to the basket by Elorriaga and made both free throws for a 61-60 UW lead with 9.1 seconds left. Elorriaga then buried the game-winner as time expired, helping the Broncos to their seventh straight victory.
Credit them for the shot said Grabau, “I don’t know if it was a designed play, but he drove baseline, we reacted and he made a good play with the skip pass (that led to the game-winning shot).”
Eloriaga played all 40 minutes of the contest as BSU played short-handed. Four players, including Sophomore starting guard Derrick Marks (16.3 ppg, 4 apg), were suspended for a violation of team rules and didn’t make the trip to Laramie. The other players were R-Fr. Mikey Thompson, R-Fr. Darrious Hamilton and Sr. Kenny Buckner. Boise State shot 46.2 percent (24-52) from the field, 57.9 percent (11-19) from beyond the arc and 66.7 percent (4-6) from the charity stripe.
Wyoming Coach Larry Shyatt said, “I thought they did much of what they’ve been doing, as well. Both teams sort of ran their stuff, defended as they usually do. There were no tricks. They made one more shot than us.”
Wyoming was led by Derrious Gilmore with 17 points. Washington and Adams each finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds. UW shot 51.3 percent (20-39) from the field, 44.4 percent (8/18) from 3-point range and 72.2 percent (13-18) from the free throw line.
Boise State jumped out behind hot shooting, as the Broncos made 4 of their first 5 shots, which included three 3-pointers for a 14-6 lead. With Boise State ahead 18-11 midway through the half, UW went on a 9-0 run and took a 20-18 lead. The Broncos missed nine consecutive shots during a 7 minute drought, but finished the half strong. Behind 3 three’s from Elorriaga, Boise State ended on a 11-6 spurt for a 31-26 edge at the break.
The second half started with a 19-4 run by the Pokes which put them up 45-35 with 11:29 to go. BSU responded with a 22-5 run over the next nine minutes that gave the Broncos a 57-50 advantage before Leonard Washington’s key plays for the Pokes.
Gilmore said, “Adversity is something that we’ve faced all year. Tonight, things didn’t fall the way we wanted to, but we’ll get back in the gym tomorrow, prepare, get on to Nevada and get focused on that game. This will make us a better team, I can promise you that.”
The Cowboys will try to bounce back on the road as they travel to Nevada on Saturday to take on the Wolf Pack at 4 p.m. with coverage starting on Y95 Country at 3:30 p.m.