BOISE, Idaho – A slow start by the Cowboys offensively was too much to overcome in a 95-87 loss at Boise State to close out the regular season on Saturday evening in Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho. Wyoming closes the regular season with a 19-12 overall record and a 10-8 mark in the Mountain West. The Pokes will await the outcome of San Diego State’s contest to determine seeding for next week’s MW Tournament in Las Vegas.
“I didn’t think we did a great job adjusting to the whistle during the game,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said. “We had a few guys in foul trouble and sometimes when you have that you become passive in your defensive. We also missed some timely free throws and then understanding we don’t have to come back with one shot.”
Senior forward Alan Herndon appeared in his 131st career game tying Eric Leckner for the most games played in school history. He finished the game with 12 points going 5-of-8 from the field.
Wyoming shot 53 percent from the field going 31-of-59. UW shot 64 percent from the field after starting the game 2-of-14. Boise State was 30-of-60 from the field for 50 percent. The Pokes were ineffective from the free throw line going 11-of-22 for the night, the percentage was a season low.
The Cowboys were led in scoring by junior guard Justin James with 24 points for his 14th game with 20 or more points this season. Senior forward Hayden Dalton added 22 points with 19 in the second half. Senior guard Louis Adams added 10 points for his 14th game in double-figures.
“We have to chalk it up and focus on our attack plan for the Mountain West Tournament,” Edwards said. “The offense wasn’t the problem tonight. But it is tournament time and we can’t sit on this and we have to prepare like we have in the recent games.”
The senior trio for Boise State of Lexus Williams, Chandler Hutchison and Christian Sengfelder gave the Broncos a 15-3 lead nearly six minutes into the contest. The Pokes struggled from the field going 1-for-5 with the only bucket coming off a three pointer from Herndon.
Boise State would later add a 6-0 run over 90 seconds to build the lead to 16 points at 21-5 with 12:09 left in the opening half. The Pokes were 2-of-14 from the field at that point shooting 14 percent. The Pokes added a 5-0 run a minute later with free throws from sophomore Andrew Moemeka and a triple from redshirt junior guard Nyaires Redding to make it a 21-10 game.
The game would slow down from there, as the teams combined for 21 fouls in the first 14 minutes of the game and 27 for the half, as Boise State maintained their advantage this time at 30-17. The Pokes cut the lead to nine points at 36-27 on a three pointer from Herndon with 3:36 left in the stanza.
The Broncos added to the lead late in the half and took a 47-34 lead into halftime. The Broncos shot 50 percent from the field in the first half and after the slow start the Pokes went 10-15 to close the first stanza shooting for 43 percent for the frame.
The Broncos opened the second frame shooting 71 percent from the field, moving the lead to 16 points once again. Wyoming was hot as well going 5-of-8 from the field for 62 percent, But Boise State maintained their advantage at 63-47 five minutes into the second half.
The Pokes held Boise State to a stretch of 1-of-7 from the field for a 65-54 game halfway through the frame. James and Dalton led the charge for the Pokes to that point of the half combing for 18 of Wyoming’s 20 points in the half.
The Pokes cut the lead to 10 points with 9:35 left in the game, but Boise State went on a 7-0 run led by Sengfelder for a 74-57 lead with seven minutes remaining.
Wyoming hit three-straight three pointers to make it an 11-point contest at 88-77 with 2:41 left, as it was a part of a 9-4 surge. Dalton cut the deficit to eight points at 82-84 with under a minute remaining scoring five straight points. The Broncos knocked down free throws late to upend the Pokes, 95-87.
Boise State was led by Sengfelder with 24 points going 8-of-10 from the field. Williams added a career-high 22 points going 12-of-12 from the free throw line. The Pokes held MW Player of the Year Candidate Chandler Hutchison to 11 points.
Wyoming will head to the Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas next week. The date, time and opponent has yet to be determined.