Senior guard Derrious Gilmore scored 17 points for the 25th-ranked University of Wyoming men's basketball team on Wednesday night against Boise State, but the Broncos hit a three as time expired to steal a 63-61 win in the Arena-Auditorium in the Mountain West opener for both squads.
The loss snapped a 13-game winning streak for the Pokes (13-1, 0-1 MW), who were one of four undefeated teams left in the nation.
"I thought our guys played very similar to the way they have all year," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "I thought we had great will. We were down seven with about three minutes to go and turned that around. Both teams were very resilient tonight. I thought we lost the game on some loose balls. There were about three threes they made in this game where they picked up a loose ball, popped it over to a teammate and knocked in the shot. There is no question the three-ball beat us tonight."
After trailing by seven with 2:47 left in the game, Wyoming crafted a 9-0 run to pull back in front 59-57 with 45 seconds left, which was capped by two free throws from sophomore guard Riley Grabau.
Boise State hit a three on its ensuing possession to retake the lead, but freshman guard Josh Adams calmly hit two free throws with nine seconds left for a 61-60 Wyoming lead. BSU would sink a corner three as the buzzer sounded, though, to give the Pokes their first loss since last season.
"This was a team effort for both teams tonight," Shyatt said. "I thought their team played hard. I thought our team played hard. [Riley] Grabau hit two big free throws at the end. Josh Adams hit two big free throws at the end. We put ourselves in a position, with seven and a half seconds to go, to win the game, but they (Boise State) took it away from us."
Gilmore hit 5-of-8 from the field, 2-of-4 beyond the arc and 5-of-6 at the free throw line to pace four Cowboys in double figures.
Adams added 12 points, two assists, two blocks and one steal, while senior forward Leonard Washington added 12 points as well to go with four rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Grabau added 10 points and sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. had nine rebounds.
Wyoming shot 51 percent (20-of-39) from the field and 44 percent (8-of-18) beyond the arc, as the Broncos connected on 46 percent (24-of-52) and 57 percent (11-of-19), respectively.
BSU's 57 percent beyond the arc and 11 threes were a season high for a UW opponent. The Broncos earned a 13-8 advantage in assists, but both teams had 25 rebounds and five steals.
The squads exchanged threes through the first three minutes, before the Broncos hit two-straight to take a 12-6 lead at the 15:57 mark.
BSU kept the advantage through the middle minutes until the Pokes used a 9-0 spurt to retake the lead 20-18 with 5:28 left in the first half.
Junior guard Nathan Sobey started the run with a three and Adams added the last four points, but BSU responded with three-straight treys of its own to go back in front by as many as eight. Sobey and Adams hit buckets down the stretch, but the Broncos took a 31-26 lead into the locker room.
Adams and Gilmore both scored eight points in the first half, while Sobey added six of his own. Nance had four rebounds and Grabau notched three assists.
Both teams shot well in the first half with the Broncos hitting 41 percent (12-of-29) from the field and 60 percent (6-of-10) beyond the arc compared to 42 percent (9-of-21) and 54 percent (6-of-11) for the Pokes. Both teams earned 15 rebounds in the first half.
The Pokes owned the first nine minutes of the second half, as Wyoming opened the half with a 10-0 run and extended it to 19-4 to go up 45-35 with 11:28 to go.
The Cowboys hit a cold streak, though, as Boise State responded with a 10-0 run of its own to tie the game at 45-45 with 7:01 left.
The squads would exchange the lead five times down the stretch. UW went up by three, but BSU clawed back up by seven with 2:47 left.
A Cowboy spurt tied the game at 57-57 with 1:24 left, before Grabau hit two free throws with 45 seconds left to put UW up two. Boise State would hit its next two threes to take the game, though.
Wyoming makes its first road trip during MW play by traveling to Nevada for a 4 p.m. game on Saturday.
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