San Diego State Too Much for the Cowboys

by staff–25 Feb ’16

Senior guard Josh Adams notched 27 points for his 19th 20-point effort this season, but the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team dropped a 73-61 contest to RV/RV San Diego State on Wednesday night in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys (13-16, 6-10 MW) suffered just their seventh loss by double digits this season, as the Aztecs (21-7, 14-1 MW) clinched the MW regular-season title with the victory.

“I liked our effort,” UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. “We cut it to five, I believe three times, during the home stretch. We could never get over that particular hump. When [San Diego State] is shooting the ball as effectively as they were tonight, they are really tough to beat. San Diego State is very good and they’ve been good for quite a while. They’ve got some veterans who know how to finish games and how to win.”

The contest looked to be another nail biter for the Pokes when Adams pulled them within eight at 62-54 with five minutes left. That would be as close as Wyoming would get down the stretch, though, as SDSU hit a big three with just under two minutes remaining and added free throws to hold off the Cowboys.

“The game was a five to six-point game for quite a bit of the second half,” Shyatt said. “But even when it was a five or six-point game there was calmness about San Diego State. I can’t fault our guys — they played hard and they played smart much of the time, but so did San Diego State. Their [San Diego State] athleticism, their strength and their maturity sort of wore us down those last seven or eight minutes.”

Adams made 9-of-14 shots for the game, including 5-of-9 from deep and 4-of-5 at the charity stripe, while adding four rebounds. His five triples moved him to second in UW single-season history with 86 and fifth in single-season scoring with 663 points. Junior guard Jason McManamen was held to just 10 points after back-to-back 20-point outings and just two triples after averaging 5.2 over his last six games. Sophomore guard Jeremy Lieberman added seven points and a team-high six rebounds.

Wyoming shot 47 percent (20-of-43) from the field and 39 percent (10-of-26) from deep for its fifth-straight game with at least 10 triples. The Pokes managed just 58 percent (11-of-19) at the free-throw line, though, and have connected on less than 70 percent in their last four contests. The Aztecs connected on 42 percent (25-of-60) from the field, 43 percent (9-of-21) beyond the arc and 74 percent (14-of-19) at the charity stripe. SDSU won the battle on the boards, 37-28, and had 20 points off turnovers, the second most for a Cowboy foe this season. Wyoming’s five assists were a season low, while its one steal tied a season low. The Aztecs committed 18 fouls, just the seventh time a UW foe has had less than 20, while their seven turnovers were the second fewest for a Cowboy opponent.

The Cowboys wrap up the road portion of the 2015-16 regular season at UNLV on Saturday. Tip is set for 6 p.m. MT in the Thomas & Mack Center.