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Boise State uses inspired second half to beat Wyoming 81-71

Boise State coach Leon Rice, pre-Wyoming

Boise State men's basketball coach talks about facing Wyoming on Jan. 22, 2016.
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Boise State men's basketball coach talks about facing Wyoming on Jan. 22, 2016.

A huge start to the second half put Boise State in the lead, and it never relented, taking the XXX win over Wyoming on Saturday in Laramie, Wyo.

The Broncos (15-5, 6-1) made five of their first six 3-point attempts to begin the second half after a 38-38 tie at the break, and never trailed in the final 20 minutes. Senior guard Lonnie Jackson hit seven 3s for a season-high 21 points, while redshirt freshman center Zach Haney had a career-best eight points off the bench. Senior guard/forward Anthony Drmic had 15 points for the Broncos, while senior guard Mikey Thompson added 15 himself.

Wyoming hit 7-of-10 3-pointers in the first half, but 3-of-11 in the second half. Junior guard Jason McManamen had a career-high 25 points for the Cowboys (10-11, 3-5).

Halftime: Most of the numbers look pretty ugly, but the Boise State Broncos are tied 38-38 at halftime at Wyoming.

The Cowboys, one of the nation’s worst rebounding teams, have an 18-11 edge on the boards at the break and are 7-of-10 on 3-pointers despite missing their top scorer. The Broncos have negated those advantages with a 9-1 edge in turnovers created.

Senior guard/forward Anthony Drmic has eight points to lead the Broncos, while five others have six points apiece. Junior forward James Webb III has four rebounds.

Wyoming led by as much as eight, grabbing 14 of the first 19 rebounds and making six of its first seven 3-point attempts. However, the Broncos closed the half with 11 of the last 16 points, including an 8-0 run that gave them their first lead of the game.

Pregame: The Boise State men’s basketball team heads to the rarified air of Laramie, Wyo., for a 2 p.m. MT Saturday tipoff at the Arena-Auditorium against the Wyoming Cowboys. The game is broadcast on ESPN3.

Boise State (14-5, 5-1) is looking for its first win against Wyoming (10-10, 3-4) since 2014 after going 0-2 against the Cowboys last season. The Broncos are aided by the absence of Wyoming senior guard Josh Adams, who was suspended by the Mountain West on Friday for today’s game. Adams averages 24.6 points per game. Next-best on the team is junior guard Jason McManamen’s 12.2 ppg.

In recent games, freshman guard Paris Austin has taken a big step up for the Broncos and continues to earn more time, which should continue Saturday.

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