WYOMING BASKETBALL: Cowboys Drop Seventh Straight Game, Lose to Boise State

Wyoming now stands at 5-12 on the season

Junior forward Jeremiah Oden attempts a layup in a loss to Boise State, 85-68, Saturday. Oden finished with 11 points, three rebounds and two blocks on the day against the Broncos. (Courtesy photo from the University of Wyoming Athletics)

By Kaycee Clark-Mellott

Special to the Wyoming Truth

This story has been updated as of Jan. 15 at 8 p.m. MST

LARAMIE, Wyo.—The Wyoming Cowboys hosted the Boise State Broncos (13-4, 3-1) in a late night game at the Arena-Auditorium Saturday.

On paper, it looked like it would be a challenging matchup for Wyoming: The Broncos, a formidable force in the Mountain West Conference, beat the Utah State Aggies in early January by 23 points. The Cowboys fell to the Aggies early last week by 20.

Jan 14, 2023; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys guard Noah Reynolds (21) against the Boise State Broncos at Arena-Auditorium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-UW Media-Athletics

The return of leading scorer Noah Reynolds gave the Cowboys some hope, as the game began with Reynolds slamming a dunk and exciting the home crowd.

But the Broncos took the lead on a 7-0 run while Wyoming struggled to get within a possession of Boise. The Cowboys trailed by as much 10 in the first half.

Boise led 41-33 at halftime. Wyoming shot poorly, only hitting 14 shots at 43.8% and being 0-3 from the free throw line. Comparatively, Boise shot 50% from the floor and 3-4 from line.

The Broncos’ Max Rice led the team in scoring with 12; the Pokes’ Hunter Maldonado and Xavier DuSell contributed nine points.

In the second half, Wyoming attempted to make a comeback, but its offense couldn’t get the job done.

Boise’s led surged to as much as 23 and ultimately knocked down the Cowboys for their seventh consecutive loss, 85-68. The Pokes now drop to 5-12 on the season.

By the game’s end, five Wyoming players had reached double digits. Reynolds led the way with 13, Maldonado scored 12 and Jeremiah Oden, Ethan Anderson and DuSell totaled 11 each.

Boise State’s five starters all scored double digits, with Naje Smith and Chibuzo Agbo contributing 18 points.

Once again, Wyoming could not escape the game without an injury. With 3:03 left in the second half, Maldonado fell to the ground and struggled to get up. While the team took a timeout, the team’s athletic trainer helped Maldonado get to his feet and immediately escorted him to the locker room, an oxygen tank in tow.

In his postgame press conference, a distraught Jeff Linder provided an update on Maldonado’s status.

“I’ve got Hunter Maldonado in the training room right now struggling to breathe, which ultimately, that’s what I’m focused on,” he said, noting that it was possible Maldonado would be taken to the hospital.

Linder went on to explain that Maldonado said he didn’t feel well before the game and there was discussion about whether he would play. But Maldonado insisted on playing.

Wyoming announced on Jan. 15 that Maldonado is doing better but is listed as day-to-day for play.

Next game up

The Pokes will travel to Colorado Springs to take on the Air Force Academy Falcons on Jan. 17, with tipoff scheduled for 7 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on the Mountain West Network and the Cowboy Sports Network.

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