(UW Athletics release)
FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Cowboys cut a 21-point deficit in the opening minutes of the second half to as little as three points with five minutes remaining, but Boston College held on for a 88-76 win over Wyoming in the first game of the Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans Fort Myers Tip-Off in Suncoast Credit Union Arena in Fort Myers, Fla. on Monday evening.
“One of the things I shared with the team after the game was I thought we took a step tonight in how hard we play,” Wyoming head coach Allen Edwards said. “To have the fight to battle within three points was encouraging. I thought there were timely possession that hurt us late, whether it was a three pointer or offensive rebounds. If we play with that effort and energy and get our guys back we are going to give ourselves a chance.”
The Pokes, who were without the services of second leading scorer Hunter Maldonado, fall to 1-4 overall, as the Eagles of Boston College move to 3-1 overall. The Pokes will now face Richmond in the third-place contest on Wednesday.
“I’m very familiar with Richmond and watched them prior to our contest,” Edwards said. “They run a lot of Princeton action much like Richmond. It will be another good game for us.”
“You have four good teams in this tournament,” Edwards said. “Boston College comes out of the toughest conference in the country. This tournament gives us great competition and our guys showed fight and took a step. But we don’t want to be satisfied, we want to build on it.”
Wyoming was led in scoring for the fifth time this season by Senior Justin James. He poured in a season-high 27 points including making 11 free throws. He also added nine rebounds. Junior guard Jake Hendricks added a career-high 22 points with a career-best five three pointers. Freshman Trevon “TJ” Taylor added 11 points with senior Nyaires Redding adding eight points going 8-of-8 from the free throw line.
BC’s Ky Bowman, one of the nation’s top guards finished the game with a career-high 38 points with seven three pointers. He went 14-of-22 from the field. He scored 14-of-16 points in a Boston College 16-0 run in the first half.
The Cowboys shot 41 percent from the field, as the Eagles shot 48 percent for the game. Wyoming hit nine three pointers shooting 43 percent from behind the arc. BC held the advantage on the glass at 41-31 and forced 13 Wyoming turnovers with eight coming in the first half.
Early turnovers led to baskets for Boston College, as the Eagles took an early 6-2 advantage. Wyoming responded well with back-to-back threes from Taylor and Hendricks to take an 8-6 lead four minutes into the game.
Wyoming would build its lead to 10-6, but a 6-0 run that saw the Cowboys go scoreless for nearly three and a half minutes gave Boston College a 12-10 advantage. Wyoming held strong and hit its first field goal in five minutes, as James gave Wyoming a 15-14 advantage with 12:21 remaining in the first half.
The two teams would go back-and-forth until back-to-back threes from All-ACC performer Ky Bowman and a layup by Avery Wilson gave Boston College a 28-20 advantage with just under 10 minutes left in the opening frame. Bowman would add five more points, as the Eagles sprung the lead to 13 points at 33-20 minutes later.
Hendricks added five-straight points for Wyoming to cut the deficit to eight points at 33-25 with 6:44 left in the half. But that would be as close as the Pokes would get in the half, as Wyoming trailed 48-32 going into the half.
Boston College continued the offensive momentum to open the second half hitting 5-of-8 field goals to take a 58-37 advantage five minutes into the frame. The Pokes went on a 9-0 run to make it a 12-point game at 58-46 with 11:41. James led the way with five points along with free throws from Taylor and Nyaires Redding.
Wyoming would continue to stick around as Hendricks would cut the deficit to nine and then James would cut it to six points at 64-58 with 7:33 left in the game. Wyoming went on an 18-6 run over six minutes to get back into the ball game.
James would cut the BC lead to five points at 67-62 with 6:13 left for his 22nd point. Taylor would cut it to three points at 68-65 with and and-one play. Bowman moved the lead back to six points with his seventh three pointer of the game with under five minutes left.
Wyoming kept battling, but late threes from Vin Baker, Jr. and Chris Herren, Jr. helped put the lead back to double-digits, as Boston College took the game 88-76
Wednesday’s game against Richmond will once against be televised on FS1 and is set for a 3 p.m. MT start.