Game Recap: Boise State 67, Wyoming 62
Boise State holds serve in the race for 2nd place in the MW
Boise State avoids an embarrassing loss, thanks to a herculean effort from Alex Hobbs
It took Boise State roughly 35 minutes to fully wake up during this game, but a late push from the Broncos helped them avoid what would have been a discouraging loss on the road against Wyoming.
Alex Hobbs came off the bench to lead the Broncos with a career-high 24 points, including a pair of three-pointers down the stretch that helped Boise State stave off the Cowboys’ upset attempt. It was the third time in six games that the senior guard has scored in double digits and his largest offesnive output since November 9, when he scored 18 points against Oregon.
Maybe it’s something about Arena-Auditorium. Hobbs scored 17 points there last season, too.
The Cowboys led by as many as five points during the second half, but they were unable to hold off Boise State for the full forty minutes. After a pair of Trevon Taylor free throws gave Wyoming a 52-47 lead with 9:52 to play, the Broncos outscored the Cowboys 20-10 the rest of the way.
Wyoming put one final scare into Boise State when they forced a turnover on the Broncos’ inbounds pass, trailing by three points with just under 30 seconds to play.
On the ensuing possession, Jake Hendricks missed a three-pointer, but Maldonado grabbed the offensive rebound and put his team back within one point.
After Jessup hit two free throws to put the Broncos back up three, Hendricks missed another shot from beyond the arc. Boise State forward RJ Williams grabbed the defensive rebound, was fouled, and iced the game with two free throws with 4.4 second remaining.
The victory keeps Boise State tied for second place in the Mountain West, along with Colorado State. Both schools currently sit at 8-4 in the conference, a full game ahead of both Nevada and UNLV.
The Rams also won on Tuesday night, beating Fresno State 80-70 on the road.
During the first half, Justinian Jessup set the Mountain West record for most career three-pointers, passing former BYU standout and All-American Jimmer Fredette. The senior finished with 16 points and extended the new high-water mark with a second three-pointer later in the game. … Derrick Alston Jr. was held scoreless in the first half and added only two free throws for the entire game, giving him a new season-low. The junior guard was 0-for-7 during the game, despite coming into the night scoring nearly 20 points per game. … RayJ Dennis started for the eighth straight game in Leon Rice’s lineup. The freshman’s insertion into the starting five has allowed Hobbs to provide veteran leadership in the second unit. That dynamic played itself out perfectly tonight. … Max Rice, the son of Boise State head coach Leon, also tied a career-high off the bench. The guard scored 12 points, matching the mark he set in the season opener against NAIA opponents Life Pacific. Together, he and Hobbs outscored the rest of the Broncos, 36-31.
The Cowboys move to 1-11 in Mountain West play. Wyoming scored their first league victory last weekend, as they toppled San Jose State, and came very close to making it two in a row tonight. … Hunter Maldonado registered his 22nd double-digit scoring performance of the season, scoring a team-high 17 points. The do-everything Cowboy has been one of the very few bright spots for this Wyoming team. … Kwane Marble was in double digits for the sixth consecutive game, scoring 11. He was also making his second start of the season after his debut in the starting lineup against the Spartans on Saturday. Marble played more than 10 minutes just once during the first two months of the season, but he has become a big part of this Wyoming team. He is developing into a key piece for Allen Edwards. … Freshman guard Kenny Foster was yet another player to set a new career-high in this game, finishing with 12 points in 27 minutes of action.
Boise State travels to Logan to take on a Utah State team that is starting to regain its form after a midseason slump. The last time these two teams met, magic happened. We’ll see what the encore brings this weekend. Utah State will be out for revenge—and a place back near the top of the Mountain West standings.
Wyoming heads into one of the Mountain West’s most hostile territories, as they take on New Mexico at The Pit on Saturday. The Lobos started the season 15-3 but have taken a terrible nosedive in the wake of injuries, suspensions, and a dismissal. Paul Weir’s team has lost five of its past six games.
Andrew is a current USBWA member, covering college basketball for multiple outlets, including Mountain West Wire of the USA TODAY Sports Media Group and Busting Brackets of the FanSided Network. He also runs the Dieckhoff Power Index, a college basketball analytics system, and provides bracketology predictions throughout the season.