Courtesy Neil K. Warner - DAILY HERALD
There is more to Reggie Larry's game than shooting. He can do more than rebound.
In a crucial stretch late in Thursday night's game at the McKay Events Center between Boise State and Utah Valley State, Larry came up with two straight steals, blocked a shot, passed out an assist and, of course, scored.
So much for a UVSC comeback.
Boise State held off the Wolverines for a 87-77 to extend UVSC's losing streak to five games.
"Our defense let us down last Saturday at home, so we talked about our defense making a statement and stepping up," said Boise State coach Greg Graham. "I won't say I knew what they were going to do, but with Toolson we knew they were going to start firing some 3s. We talked about everyone guarding their guy and playing solid. Anthony (Thomas) got a couple steals and some breakaways and Reggie got one. Those are big because they're quick easy buckets. Both ends were working hard to score tonight."
Larry, a preseason All-WAC first team selection, led Boise State (7-3) with 18 points, two steals and two blocked shots, and Matt Nelson scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. UVSC (3-7) got 22 points from Ryan Toolson and 20 points from Jordan Brady.
"To tell you the truth, we might have played our best game of the season. If we can eliminate some of our mental errors and turnovers that they turned into easy scores, we could have been a bit more competitive near the end," said UVSC coach Dick Hunsaker. "I thought we played with energy. I thought we played with emotion. I thought we competed. They're a fine team. That's a formidable foe. That front line are All-WAC players. I can't fault our effort."
In a game that was tight for most of the way, Boise State began to pull away at the seven-minute mark. A Thomas 3-pointer pushed the lead to 66-57 with 6:45 left, but UVSC hung around. Toolson hit a jumper and Brady sank his first 3-pointer of the year from the top of the key.
The Broncos went back inside to Nelson for two, but Toolson got it right back with a pair of free throws. Larry nailed a 15-foot jumper.
Larry then came up with back-to-back steals and then blocked a Brady shot, which turned into two free throws from Tyler Tiedeman that gave the Broncos a 72-64 lead with three minutes to play. Thomas followed with one of his five steals on the night and Larry found a wide-open Matt Bauscher, who dropped in a 3-pointer to give the Broncos their biggest lead of the game at 75-64 with two minutes to play.
UVSC stayed close with a pair of Brady offensive rebound dunks and a Jabir Jinna 3-pointer, but Boise State made 7-of-8 free throws in the final 1:30 to finish off a season sweep of UVSC. The Broncos beat the Wolverines in overtime (73-72) in the season opener for both teams.