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Boise State drills 3-pointer at buzzer to edge Pokes 63-61

Jan 10, 2013 - The Associated Press

LARAMIE - The best 3-point shooter in the Mountain West showed it, and the result was the University of Wyoming's first loss of the season.

Junior guard Jeff Elorriaga made a 3-pointer from the corner at the buzzer as Boise State upset No. 25 Wyoming 63-61 Wednesday night in front of 6,416 at the Arena Auditorium in the Mountain West opener for both teams.

UW suffered its first loss of the season and is 13-1. Boise State (13-2) knocked off its second consecutive ranked team this season.

Elorriaga entered the game leading the MW with 46 3s and shooting 48.4 percent from behind the arc. He was 6 of 10 from 3-point range in this game. The Broncos were 11 of 19.

True freshman Josh Adams made two free throws with 9.1 seconds to play to give UW a 61-60 lead. The Broncos drove to one corner of the floor, then threw a skip pass to Elorriaga in the opposite corner by UW's band and student section for the game-winner.

"We tried to draw (UW) to one side of the court, we skipped it across the court, I got open and it went down," Elorriaga said. "It felt a little left. It started rolling around and it went down. I heard the buzzer go off and I couldn't hold my excitement down."

Four Boise State players, including sophomore guard and leading scorer Derrick Marks were suspended for a violation of team rules and didn't make the trip to Laramie. The Broncos had only nine players in uniform.

But none of that mattered.

The game featured eight ties and 10 lead changes.

It looked like UW had the game in hand after it rallied from a 31-26 halftime deficit and led 45-35 with 11 minutes, 26 seconds to play. But the Cowboys went cold after that, and with 2:47 to play they trailed 57-50.

Senior Leonard Washington took over, kind of like he did in UW's 59-56 win at SMU on Jan. 2.

Washington scored five straight points with a 3-pointer and a steal and dunk to tie the game at 57-57 with 1:19 to play.

Washington, who scored 15 of his 19 points at SMU in the second half, then drew his second charge of the game, which eventually led to sophomore guard Riley Grabau going to the free-throw line with 45.5 seconds to play.

Grabau made both shots, but Elorriaga drained a 3 to give Boise State the lead back at 60-59.

Boise State's 11 3s matched a season-high against the Cowboys. Illinois State also made 11. UW rallied from 19 points down in the second half to win that game 81-67.

"Boise State was hitting 3s (Wednesday) and we gave them a few more opportunities that we would have liked to," said Adams, who had 12 points. "They capitalized on it and were able to get the win."

Even though he was disappointed with the loss, UW coach Larry Shyatt wasn't disappointed in his team.

"I thought our guys played very similar to the way they have all year," he said. "They played with great will. Both teams were resilient.

"I thought their team played hard, and I thought our team played hard.

We put ourselves in a position to win the game late, but they took it away from us."

Senior point guard Derrious Gilmore led UW with 17 points. Adams and Washington each had 12.

UW plays its first conference road game at Nevada (8-5, 0-1) at 4 p.m. Saturday. The Wolf Pack lost 78-65 at Air Force on Wednesday.

The Cowboys have to do something they haven't done yet this season - bounce back from a loss.

"This will make us a better team, I guarantee it," Gilmore said.

Familiar faces

Former Cowboys coach Benny Dees (1988-93) was at the game. He was the coach the last time UW was ranked in The Associated Press poll, which dates back to March 17, 1988.

Former guard Brandon Ewing (2006-09) also was at the game. He is second in school history in scoring (2,168 points) and assists (471), and third in steals (161). Ewing also had the seventh-best career scoring average (17.1 ppg).

Other former players at the game were former center Ugo Udezue (1998-99, 2001-02) and guard Eric Platt (2007-08).

Free throws

UW leads the series with Boise State 10-6 and is 7-2 against the Broncos at home. ... UW had its 12-game home winning streak snapped.

The streak dated back to last season.

Shyatt is 37-6 at home as the Cowboys' coach and 10-5 in conference play.

UW is 5-9 in Mountain West openers, including 3-5 at home. ... The Cowboys are 56-33 all-time as a ranked team.

That includes a 27-5 record at home and 12-3 at the A-A.

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