Dickinson's Hanstad leads Boise State, but Bismarck's Martinez stakes Wyoming to the winBOISE, Idaho — Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt doesn't mind references to his squad not being the prettiest basketball team in the land.
BOISE, Idaho — Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt doesn't mind references to his squad not being the prettiest basketball team in the land.
Looks can be deceiving and they certainly were Saturday when the defense-minded Cowboys shot a season-best 65.8 percent while recording a 75-64 victory over Boise State.
"We still know who we're not," Shyatt said. "We don't try to pretend we're somebody we're not. It's a little ugly but that's OK. That's who we are."
Luke Martinez, a Bismarck High School graduate, scored 17 points and Francisco Cruz added 16 as the Cowboys (17-4, 3-2 Mountain West) continue a surprising turnaround in Shyatt's first season as coach.
Wyoming allowed more than 60 points for just the third time all season but led by as many as 22 points while handing Boise State (10-10, 0-5) its sixth straight loss.
Freshman Joe Hanstad, a Dickinson High School graduate, scored a season-high 13 points, Ryan Watkins added 12 and Tre' Nichols scored 11 for the Broncos.
"It's really tough," Boise State coach Leon Rice said. "There comes a time where you just want them to get rewarded for some hard work. You look around, and there's just nowhere to come up for air in this league."
Wyoming never gave the Broncos a chance to get comfortable and took an early 12-4 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers by Cruz and Leonard Washington. The Cowboys led by as many as 15 in the half and shot 63.2 percent en route to a 33-30 halftime lead.
Wyoming continued the assault deep into the second half and its lead was 53-31 after Washington's three-point play with less than 11 minutes left.
"We wanted to stick to our game plan and play at our pace," Martinez said. "I think we did that."
Boise State pulled within 11 points in the final minutes but couldn't make a sustained run during a disappointing follow-up after pushing No. 12 UNLV into overtime Wednesday before falling.
The Cowboys took notice of Boise State's near-upset of the Rebels and made it a point to jump out fast to prevent momentum from having a carry-over effect.
"I think it might have helped that our team saw a lot of that game," said Shyatt, "because kids are no different than writers and they jump the gun sometimes. If a team is 0-4 or 4-0, they paint a picture.
"They actually saw someone go toe-to-toe with a terrific team and I think that helped prepare their mindset more than just listening to the coaches."
Washington added 10 points for Wyoming, which was 8-of-14 from 3-point range, hitting four in each half. The Cowboys made 17 of 19 free throws while overcoming 17 turnovers.
Boise State is still seeking its first victory as a member of the Mountain West. The Broncos haven't won since defeating Idaho on Dec. 31.
"We're going to keep fighting," Watkins said. "It doesn't matter how many losses or wins we have."
The Cowboys were allowing just 53 points per game entering the contest, and held Boise State leading scorer Anthony Drmic to seven points on 1-of-5 shooting.
Wyoming was 10-21 last season before hiring Shyatt, an assistant at Florida the previous seven seasons.