Jan. 28, 2012
Boise, Idaho - The University of Wyoming played dominant basketball on both ends of the floor for a wire-to-wire 75-64 win over Boise State on Saturday afternoon in the Taco Bell Arena. The Cowboys (17-4, 3-2) entered halftime up 13 and extended the lead to as many as 22 in the second half en route to their fourth-straight road win, their longest streak since the 1990-91 season.
Redshirt junior Luke Martinez paced Wyoming with 17 points and four rebounds, while senior guard Francisco Cruz scored 16 and redshirt junior forward Leonard Washington added 10. Cruz and senior guard JayDee Luster both earned five assists, but the most impressive UW performance was once again the team effort on the defensive end. The Cowboys limited the Broncos to 29 percent (7-of-24) beyond the arc and outrebounded BSU 24-16, including six each from senior center Adam Waddell and freshman forward Larry Nance Jr.
Wyoming shot season highs of 65 percent (25-of-38) from the floor and 57 percent (8-of-14) beyond the arc for the game, while earning a 14-7 advantage in assists and 19-11 in points off turnovers. The 11-point win was UW's third-largest margin of victory in MW play on the road.
Wyoming led the entire first half, but it was a defensive battle through the first four minutes. Martinez revved up UW's offense with a three, Cruz followed with a trey of his own and Washington rounded out three-straight threes from Wyoming with a shot from deep as well. The spurt put the Cowboys up 12-4 at the 12:27 mark, but the Broncos (10-10, 0-5) applied full-court pressure and forced UW into consecutive turnovers for a four-point run of their own. Waddell responded with a dunk and jumper, while drawing two offensive fouls and the Cowboys cranked down on the defensive end as well. Boise State was shooting 16 percent (2-of-12) through the first 13 minutes and attempted eight threes before connecting on one.
A layup from Nance gave the Cowboys their first double-digit lead at 20-10, while a quick 6-0 spurt at the four-minute mark extended the advantage to 15 at 29-14. Waddell hit two free throws with under a minute left and Cruz nailed a jumper with four seconds left to send UW into halftime up 33-20 with the momentum. Cruz scored nine points in the first half, while Waddell added seven points and four rebounds.
Wyoming shot 63 percent (12-of-19) from the field in the first half and 66 percent (4-of-6) from deep, but more impressively held Boise State to 35 percent (7-of-20) and 20 percent (2-of-10). The Cowboys owned a 13-8 rebounding advantage and 7-1 in assists. It was the fifth time this season UW has held its opponent to 20 points or less in the first half and second time during the conference season.
It was more lock-down defense for the Pokes to start the second half, as UW opened the frame with a 7-2 spurt to go up 18 at 40-22 three minutes in. The squads exchanged baskets over the next five minutes until Nance earned a layup, Cruz hit a three and Washington converted an old-fashion, three-point play to give Wyoming a 22-point lead, its biggest of the game, at 53-31 with 10:57 left.
Back-to-back treys from freshman guard Riley Grabau keep the Wyoming advantage around 20 until Boise State whittled the lead down to 12 at 61-49 with 5:10 to go. The Broncos cut it to 11 with 2:29 to play, but that was as close as BSU would come, as the two squads exchanged baskets down the stretch. Martinez scored 11 of his 17 in the second half and Grabau scored eight in the frame.
The Cowboys improved to 12-0 this season when leading at halftime, while their five road wins this season are the most since the 2002-03 season.
Wyoming continues its road swing at TCU on Wednesday at 6 p.m.