It’s a pattern that is becoming all too familiar for the Wyoming men’s basketball team.
A decent to good first half and a not-so-good second half.
The Cowboys lost their fourth consecutive game with a 65-54 loss at Utah State Wednesday night. They led 29-26 at halftime and led by as many as eight early in the second half.
But then UW couldn’t make shots and couldn’t control the glass.
Utah State outscored UW 39-25 in the second half, and outrebounded UW 47-27 for the game.
That pretty much summed this game up. Utah State coach Stew Morrill said Utah State switched its defenses up more in the second half, but it looked to me its zone defense frustrated UW the most.
UW got a game-high 21 points from sophomore guard Josh Adams, who has scored 50 points in his last two games. Adams made two 3-pointers, and has eight in his last four games. Adams had two 3s in Mountain West play prior to these last four games.
Senior guard Nathan Sobey added 14 points and a career-high nine rebounds. He scored UW’s first five points of the second half.
But there wasn’t much else to be overly excited about offensively for the Pokes.
Junior guard Riley Grabau had seven points — two in the second half on a pair of free throws after a technical foul by Utah State senior center Jarred Shaw. Junior forward Derek Cooke Jr. had seven points and eight rebounds, but no points in the second half. Cooke also missed a dunk in the first half.
Senior guard Jerron Granberry made his first shot of the game, but was 1 of 9 the rest of the game.
For UW to have a chance, it needs more production from more guys. UW can’t shoot 36.2 percent and be 5 of 24 from 3-point range and expect to win.
Three bench players saw action: true freshman guard Trey Washington III, sophomore forward Austin Haldorson and junior center Matt Sellers. None of them scored and Washington was the only one that attempted a shot (0 of 3). Sellers had two rebounds and Washington had an assist.
Those guys gave the starters some much-needed rest, and coach Larry Shyatt used his timeouts and bench well to try and spell the starting five.
With the loss and Nevada’s 83-81 double-overtime win at Boise State Wednesday, UW is now tied for sixth place in the Mountain West standings with Fresno State. The Cowboys end the regular season at home against Colorado State. Fresno State ends with last-place San Jose State.
Looks like the Cowboys will be playing on the first day of the MW Tournament next Wednesday in Las Vegas.
There was some good news Wednesday for UW: junior forward Larry Nance Jr. underwent successful surgery to repair the anterior curciate ligament in his right knee in Laramie. Shyatt said in his pregame radio interview on the Cowboy Sports Network (I wasn’t at the game at Utah State) that there was no unexpected problems with the knee damage and the surgery went well.
For more on the game, see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net. Also, join me for my weekly live chat on UW sports at 3 p.m. Thursday. Links to the chat are on this blog and at wyosports.net.