LARAMIE, Wyo. -
The University of Wyoming men's basketball team was within four points of Boise State with 3:31 remaining, but the Broncos closed the game on a 12-6 run for an 81-71 win on Saturday afternoon in the Arena-Auditorium. Junior guard Jason McManamen scored a career-high 25 points for the Cowboys (10-11, 3-5 MW) who played without senior guard Josh Adams due to a one-game suspension.
"We knew they were going to come after us without Josh [Adams]," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We were prepared for it. We didn't handle it a couple times, but I've got to say we put ourselves in a position to win the game in the first 36 minutes of basketball against the most talented, most experienced and deepest team in the league. I'm not happy with that. I told the team, this isn't about building [for the future]. I'm not a carpenter. I'm not interested in being good in three to four years."
Tied 38-38 out of halftime, the Broncos (15-5, 6-1 MW) took the advantage and slowly grew their lead to eight midway through the second. The Pokes would cut the lead to four on a McManamen layup, but that would be as close as Wyoming could get. The Cowboys had one last chance down by six with 52 seconds left, but Boise State mad¬e two free throws and converted an and-one play with 35 seconds left to ice the game with an 11-point lead.
McManamen's career night came in part on a career-high 10 made field goals and 3-of-7 from deep, as he tied career highs with eight rebounds in 39 minutes of action. He has made 15 triples in Wyoming's last four games. Sophomore forward Alan Herndon tied a career high with 16 points to go with seven rebounds and two blocks. Sophomore forward Hayden Dalton and sophomore guard Alexander Aka Gorski also set career highs in assists at five and four, respectively. Adams' absence broke a string of 65-straight games with him in uniform for Wyoming.
"[Jason] McManamen has given us everything," Shyatt said. "I still haven't been able to identify after four years what position the guy is. Is he a four, is he a two, a three. But the things you can count on is he is going to go hard, he is going to make life miserable for the other team and better for our team."
Wyoming made 52 percent (25-of-48) from the field for its fifth game this season over 50 percent and first time in MW play and added 48 percent (10-of-21) beyond the arc, their second-best showing this season. Boise State made 47 percent (24-of-51) and 39 percent (13-of-33), as its 13 made triples and 33 attempts were both season highs for a UW foe. The Cowboys won the rebounding battle for the sixth time this season with a 32-26 lead on the boards, but committed 14 turnovers to just five for the Broncos, a season low for UW opponent. Both teams had 16 assists.
The Cowboys return to the road at Fresno State on Tuesday at 8 p.m. MT.