For Wyoming and coach Larry Shyatt, Saturday’s 53-42 loss at No. 14 New Mexico had to feel a lot like last year’s loss.
The score was similar as UW lost last year’s game 48-38.
The Cowboys shot 28.1 percent from the field in this game, and 25.9 percent in last year’s game. The total points and shooting percentage in this game for UW were its second-lowest of the season.
The win last year was New Mexico’s fifth straight, as was this one.
Shyatt also didn’t like how the officiating went in this game, much like last year. Last year, he said he couldn’t tell the truth about the officiating. Saturday he used some humor to not answer how he felt — and showed numerous times during the game — after his team was called for 22 fouls compared to 12 for New Mexico, was outscored 21-3 at the free-throw line and where the Lobos shot 20 more free throws than the Cowboys.
“(New Mexico coach) Steve Alford and his staff, this personnel they’ve put together and this crowd deserves more attention than my comment. And, I really don’t think my wife would want to know if I got fined.”
UW hung in there despite senior forward Leonard Washington playing only 10 minutes. He left midway though the first half with what Shyatt said was a bad back. Washington wasn’t playing that well before he left as he was 0-of-4 and 0-of-2 from 3-point range. Three of Washington’s four shot attempts were ill-advised.
It was hard to tell when Washington hurt his back, and there were no noticable signs when it may of occurred. I wasn’t told of any previous issues with his back.
I thought sophomore guard Riley Grabau and true freshman guard Josh Adams both played well. Grabau had a career-high 14 points. Adams had seven points and played good defense once again. He left UW’s locker room limping, which never is good.
With Washington out, sophomore forward Derek Cooke Jr. was decent with nine points and seven rebounds. Sophomore center Matt Sellers hustled in his nine minutes, but couldn’t get any of his three shots to drop.
If UW could have hit a few more shots at some key times, it may have escaped here with a win. But those “what ifs” do not do the Cowboys any good now. UW was within three midway through the second half, but went nearly the next seven minutes without a basket.
“I am proud of the feeling that they understood how they could beat the Lobos on their court on a night of celebration they have been bragging about,” said Shyatt, as New Mexico celebrated its second straight conference title and its senior night for about an hour after the game.
UW’s final regular-season game is Wednesday at home against Colorado State, which is fighting to stay in second place in the conference. The Rams beat the Cowboys by 19 in Fort Collins last month.
“We’re fine. We are on to the next one,” said Nance on how the team is handling losing its last four and 11 of its last 16 games. “We are looking forward to CSU and ready to beat them at our place. It’s going to be a a great game.”