Chandler Hutchison’s layup in the closing seconds of regulation bounced around the rim and fell out.
The Boise State senior then got his own rebound and went back up for a shot surrounded by three Wyoming defenders.
The call was a blocked shot, but Boise State men’s basketball coach Leon Rice would like to see that one again.
Instead of celebrating a game-winning basket — or free throw — on their final possession, Rice and the Broncos ended up with a 79-78 overtime loss to Wyoming at Arena-Auditorium on Saturday in Laramie, Wyo.
“I think refs, especially when they are on the road, they are a little hesitant to make a call there at the end, but I’ll look at the film to be fair and see what happened,” Rice told the Bronco Radio Network. “There was a lot of contact in there, a lot of bodies flying around. It looked like he got clobbered, but I couldn’t tell.”
Boise State appeared to be on its way to a fourth straight Mountain West Conference victory in the first half. The Broncos had a 17-3 lead with 12:05 to play before halftime and pushed that lead to as much as 16 points before the break.
But the Cowboys were quick to dismantle the Broncos’ 43-27 advantage in the second half, outscoring BSU 16-4 over the first four minutes.
“We came out terrific, the way we wanted to. We executed everything. We had good pace to us. Everybody was involved and did a nice job,” Rice said. “They came out a little more energetic than us in the second half. I don’t know if our guys thought it was going to be easy because we were up 16.”
Wyoming took its first lead of the game, 57-56, on a free throw from guard Cody Kelley with 8:08 remaining in the game. The Cowboys (11-5, 2-1) held that lead until a Hutchison 3-pointer with 1:31 remaining put Boise State up 68-67.
“They were the aggressor, and the aggressor gets the calls. The aggressor is going to make the plays and make the shots,” Rice said. “… We’re not talented enough to play at all on our heels, and I think that’s what we were caught on in that second half.”
After Hutchison couldn’t come up with the game-winner at the end of regulation, the Broncos opened the five-minute overtime with back-to-back baskets from Chris Sengfelder and Justinian Jessup for a 74-70 lead.
Just as they did in the second half, the Cowboys answered at the end of overtime, pulling in front 78-76 on a Kelley 3-pointer with 1:03 on the clock.
Kelley went to the free-throw line with 4.6 seconds left, making the first and missing the second for a 79-76 Wyoming lead. Hutchison grabbed the missed free throw and was immediately fouled with 2.3 seconds remaining.
He made the first free throw, and the Broncos (13-3, 3-1) used a timeout to decide how to handle the second. Although it appeared Hutchison tried to miss the free throw to allow for a potential Boise State rebound, the ball went in anyway.
But that wasn’t the Broncos’ last gasp.
Wyoming’s Hayden Dalton threw the ensuing inbounds pass across halfcourt to teammate Hunter Maldonado, who lost the ball out of bounds as he was falling down backwards.
That gave the Broncos one more look with 0.8 seconds left and a one-point deficit, but Hutchison’s catch-and-shoot heave as time expired fell short. Hutchison finished with 27 points, and junior Zach Haney added 15 points and seven rebounds before fouling out.
Dalton posted a game-high 29 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Cowboys.
“That’s an upset locker room, because we felt like we did some great things and put ourselves in a position to win,” Rice said. “We just didn’t get it done.”
Boise State next plays at Fresno State at 9 p.m. MT Tuesday, and the game will be broadcast on ESPNU.
Rally comes too late for BSU women
Senior guard Liv Roberts scored nine of Wyoming’s first 11 points and never relented as the Cowgirls defeated Boise State 66-51 on Saturday afternoon at Taco Bell Arena.
The 5-foot-11 Roberts — a preseason all-Mountain West pick — went 9-for-9 from the field for a game-leading 25 points.
“She’s a terrific player. She can do everything. She can shoot the three. She can post up,” Boise State coach Gordy Presnell said. “She makes everyone around her better. She did that tonight.”
Boise State (8-7, 2-2) shot just 26.7 percent from the floor in the first half to fall behind 32-18 at the break. The Cowgirls (9-5, 2-1) extended their lead to as much as 18 in the third quarter before the Broncos began to show some life.
Senior center Brooke Wheeler and sophomore guard Ellie Woerner completed back-to-back three-point plays to cut the deficit to single digits, 58-49, with 3:17 to play.
However, Wyoming sophomore Taylor Rusk made two of her four 3-pointers in the final two minutes to derail the Broncos’ comeback.
“It seemed like we were not ready to compete as hard as they did today,” Boise State junior Marta Hermida said. “That’s a bad feeling, for sure. Yeah at the end we tried, but we need to try for 40 minutes to win.”
Hermida and sophomore Riley Lupfer each scored 11 points to lead Boise State, which returns to the court against Fresno State at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
WYOMING 79, BOISE ST. 78, OT
BOISE ST. (13-3)
Sengfelder 2-7 0-0 5, Haney 7-9 0-0 15, Hutchison 6-19 14-20 27, Williams 2-6 0-1 5, Jessup 2-9 0-0 5, Wacker 1-1 1-2 3, Jorch 3-4 0-0 6, Hobbs 2-8 0-0 4, Dickinson 1-3 4-4 6, Jardine 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 27-68 19-27 78.
Herndon 3-6 3-4 9, Dalton 10-21 7-9 29, Kelley 2-7 4-8 9, James 6-11 2-4 15, Maldonado 3-4 0-0 8, Moemeka 0-0 0-0 0, Aka Gorski 1-6 0-0 3, Redding 0-0 0-0 0, Adams 1-4 4-7 6. Totals 26-59 20-32 79.
Halftime—Boise St. 43-27. End Of Regulation—Tied 70. 3-Point Goals—Boise St. 5-24 (Haney 1-2, Williams 1-3, Hutchison 1-4, Sengfelder 1-4, Jessup 1-7, Hobbs 0-2, Dickinson 0-2), Wyoming 7-27 (Maldonado 2-3, Dalton 2-9, James 1-2, Aka Gorski 1-5, Kelley 1-5, Adams 0-1, Herndon 0-2). Fouled Out—Herndon, Haney. Rebounds—Boise St. 42 (Jessup 8), Wyoming 30 (Dalton 12). Assists—Boise St. 11 (Hobbs, Jessup 4), Wyoming 17 (James 6). Total Fouls—Boise St. 26, Wyoming 19. A—5,301 (15,028).