UW-Boise State men’s hoops postgame thoughts

Larry Nance Jr. said he redeemed himself.

A week ago, he didn’t make the shots UW needed late in its game at Nevada and the Cowboys lost 61-58.

Saturday night, Nance made a short baseline jumper with 1.6 seconds to play to give UW a 52-50 win at Boise State.

Here is the video of that shot and some other highlights from the final possessions.

Nance also converted a three-point play that tied the game at 48. He was 4 of 6 from the field in the first half, but missed his first four shots of the second half. He made his last two shots to give UW (10-6 overall, 1-2 Mountain West) by far its best win of the season.

But there were some other clutch performances for the Cowboys as three others scored in double figures.

Senior wings Nathan Sobey and Jerron Granberry both had 11 points. Granberry’s driving layup tied the game at 50. He also made a couple of 3-pointers, had two steals, three rebounds and made 3 of 4 free throws. Granberry passed up some other perimeter shots, but it was good to see him pull the trigger a few times. He is one of UW’s best 3-point shooters (42 percent entering the game).

Sobey was impressive for the second straight game driving to the basket — mostly to his left — and finishing with dunks or layups.

The 50 points was the fewest UW has allowed this season, and it allowed only one basket in the final 8:51. The Cowboys played good defense, but Boise State also didn’t play well offensively.

The Broncos (11-5, 1-2) were in the double bonus for about the last half of the game, but missed seven free throws in the second half. Junior guard Anthony Drmic had a game-high 20 points, but 15 came in the first half and he was just 1 of 5 from the field in the second half.

Thirteen of senior forward Ryan Watkins’ 15 points came in the second half for Boise State. But he missed four free throws and fouled out late in the game.

And, the game was rough for two of the best 3-point shooters in the MW. UW junior Riley Grabau and Boise State senior Jeff Elorriaga went a combined 0 of 7 from the field and 0 of 6 from behind the arch. Grabau entered the game second in the league in 3-point shooting percentage and Elorriaga was third.

Grabau played all 40 minutes for the second time this season.

The two teams were a combined 6 of 29 from 3-point range.

UW was outrebounded 11-1 on the offensive glass, but it held a 25-22 edge in defensive rebounds.

Nance suffered a cut on his left wrist after being scratched by Boise State freshman forward Nick Duncan. A scout from the San Antonio Spurs sat next to me at the game, and was there watching Nance, Drmic and Boise State junior guard Derrrick Marks. The scout seemed fairly impressed with Nance. He jotted down a lot of notes about him, and commented to me near the end of the game that “he’s pretty athletic.”

Nance also had three blocked shots, two assists, two steals and one turnover.

Marks was averaging 15.8 points per game, but had just six points on 2 of 8 shooting. He had four assists, but also three turnovers.

UW turned the ball over 17 times, which tied a season-high. Sophomore guard Josh Adams had a season-high seven turnovers, but also had 10 points and made 4 of 5 free throws.

The Cowboys attempted only 39 shots compared to 50 for Boise State.

It wasn’t a pretty game, but it was a gutsy win for UW. Now, it must show that it wasn’t a fluke and follow it up with a home win over San Jose State this coming Saturday. San Jose State, picked to finish at the bottom of the MW standings, gave New Mexico all it wanted Saturday night.

For more on the game, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net. Also, Sunday is the first of a two-part Q&A series with new UW football coach so be sure to check that out.