We’re used to Boise State playing spoiler to perfect seasons, but it’s usually on the gridiron, not the basketball court.
But for the second time this year, the Broncos handed a top 25 team their first loss of the season. On Wednesday night, Leon Rice’s club went into Laramie and knocked off Wyoming, 63-61, on a buzzer-beating three from sharp-shooter Jeff Elorriaga.
That three capped a wild sequence to end the game. Boise State was up 57-50 with less than two minutes left, but Wyoming’s star Leonard Washington took over. He hit a three to cut the lead to two points, had a steal that led to a dunk and then took a charge on the next possession. After two Wyoming free throws, the Pokes were up 59-57 with less than a minute remaining.
But Elorriaga freed himself and buried his first basket of the second half, a three, to put the Broncos back up 60-59. After Josh Adams hit two free throws at the other end — one of which bounced off the back of the rim and way up into the air before rattling home — we were all set for the thrilling, buzzer-beating finish.
This win was made all the more impressive by the fact that Boise State was playing without four members of their rotation, including leading scorer Derrick Marks, who have been suspended indefinitely. Marks, Mikey Thompson, Kenny Buckner and Darrious Hamilton all were left home for BSU’s Mountain West opener.
Back in November, Boise State went into Omaha and knocked off Creighton 83-70 in a game that Marks scored 35 points. Sporting a 14-2 record with two impressive road wins, Boise State has set themselves up nicely for a run at an NCAA tournament bid.
With the loss, Duke, Arizona and Michigan are now the only three teams in the country with an unblemished record.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.