Boise State falls to Wyoming 79-94 in season opener
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- It took Brandon Ewing more than eight minutes to score his first basket in Wyoming's season opener against Boise State.
But it only took him 2 minutes, 37 seconds in the second half to put the game away.
Ewing scored 12 unanswered points in a 15-0 run to lead the Cowboys to a 94-79 victory over the Broncos on Saturday.
For that brief stretch, Ewing was everywhere -- hitting free throws, leading the fast break, driving the lane, knocking down 3-pointers. Boise State led 51-50 when he started.
By the time he was through, so were the Broncos.
"Once he hit that first shot, I knew it's just time to get him the ball," said Wyoming point guard Brad Jones, who finished with 24 points and five assists, including the assist to Ewing on that fast-break basket.
Ewing's run gave the Cowboys a 52-51 lead; they pushed it to 55-51 when Chris Anderson made a basket and a free throw with just under 13 minutes left.
"All we see is (Ewing) hitting 3s," Wyoming coach Steve McClain said. "What I see is the big guys setting screens and getting him open -- and he's going to score when he gets open."
Boise State never recovered. A pair of free throws by Coby Karl after a Wyoming bench technical pulled the Broncos within 86-76 with 1:11 left, but that was as close as they would get.
"We had a slight edge, but after that we just couldn't get over the hump," said Boise State coach Greg Graham.
But it wasn't the offense that impressed McClain. It was their defensive performance on Karl, who averaged more than 17 points per game last year and initially declared himself eligible for the NBA Draft before withdrawing and returning to Boise for his senior season. Karl had eight assists, but only nine points on 2-of-9 shooting from the field.
Eric Lane scored 20 points for Boise State, and Matt Nelson finished with 16 points and nine rebounds.
Jones almost single-handedly kept Wyoming in the game early, scoring nine of Wyoming's first 12 points. Meanwhile, Ewing missed three of his first four shots before hitting a pair of big 3-pointers midway through the first half.
"My shot felt pretty good, but they did a nice job of challenging my shot," Ewing said. "They were running two people out on me."
Boise State had its biggest lead of the game, 27-20, when Ewing hit a pair of 3-pointers to start a 13-1 Cowboys run. Ewing tied the score at 27 with a free throw, and hit another pair of free throw to make it 31-28. James Spencer's jumper in the lane made it 33-28 Wyoming.
The Broncos' Reggie Larry tied it up again at 39 in the final minute of the half; the score was tied at 41 at halftime.
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