That wasn’t the way the Wyoming men’s basketball team wanted its season to end — a 59-43 loss at Texas A&M Wednesday night in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational.
In a nutshell, UW (18-15) picked a bad time to have its worst offensive game of the season. The 43 points was a season-low, as was its 29.8 percent shooting from the field and its 14 baskets made. It also didn’t help that the Cowboys were outrebounded 41-27 and was 5 of 24 from 3-point range.
The guys UW needed to produce didn’t. Sophomore guard Josh Adams, who averaged 24 points and shot 55 percent in his previous four games, had just five points on 2 of 8 shooting. Senior guard Nathan Sobey had nine points on 4 of 11 shooting and junior guard Riley Grabau was scoreless on 0 of 4 shooting.
Texas A&M’s size along the frontcourt had a lot to do with UW’s offensive struggles. It also did a good job of preventing the Cowboys from driving to the basket and getting points inside. UW had only 14 points in the paint, which was a season-low. UW has relied more on the 3 since the injury to junior forward Larry Nance Jr. on Feb. 18, but it also needed to drive the ball to the basket more and get to the free throw line.
The Cowboys were 10 of 12 from the line, but all of those attempts came in the second half.
The Aggies started the game with a 21-4 lead, and it looked like they might score 100 the way they were shooting early. If they had gone to junior post Kourtney Roberson more (14 points and 10 rebounds), they may have scored more. UW didn’t have much of an answer for him.
Kind of fitting that the Cowboys’ leading scorers were their two seniors. Guard Jerron Granberry had 10 points, followed by Sobey’s nine.
Unfortunately, UW’s last game of this season was its most lopsided loss of the season.
I saw more offensive fouls called in this game than in any this season. I also didn’t think the technical foul on Sobey for hanging on the rim after a dunk was warrented. If he didn’t hang on, he would have taken a nasty fall.
But none of that had anything to do with the outcome of the game. It didn’t help UW that it didn’t arrive in College Station until about 8 a.m. Wednesday morning. Snow in our area caused flight delays and the team didn’t get into Houston until late Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.
A couple of other quick notes:
–UW is now 18-31 all-time in the postseason, 2-4 in the CBI and 1-4 against Texas A&M.
–The 16 points the Cowboys scored in the first half tied a season low for a half. They also scored 16 in the second half in a 65-50 loss at Ohio State.
So that’s a wrap for the 2013-14 season. The Nance injury derailed what was looking to be a strong finish. But even though there were some ups and downs with other players, I thought guys like Adams, Grabau and Cooke showed some good improvement and progress.
A lot of next season depends on Nance’s health, but UW would be wise to error on the side of caution. He does have a redshirt year to use.
What are your thoughts of this season, and looking ahead to 2014-15?
For more on the game, see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.