* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE - The Wyoming Cowboys battled Mountain West leader Utah State, but the Aggies earned the win by a score of 84-76 in the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie on Wednesday.

The Cowboys struggled from the field in the second half as the Cowboys fall to 12-12 overall and 5-6 in the MW, as it marked the fourth-straight game at home against a team ranked in the Top 25 or receiving votes.

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“I was happy with the effort of our guys tonight,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “Utah State just had a little bit more discipline and effort tonight. I was proud of the execution of the game plan offensively, we did a really good job first half, but in that second-half they switched a little bit more and we got a little stagnant.”

Wyoming was led once again by Brendan Wenzel, as he scored 24 points for his third game with 20 or more points in the last four games. Mason Walters added 16 points for his tenth game in double-figures this season. He also added eight rebounds. Sam Griffin added 18 points for his 20th game in double-figures on the season. Cam Manyawu added a team-high 11 rebounds for his sixth game with double-figure rebounds.

Wyoming was held to 41.8 percent from the field on the night. The Cowboys did knock down nine threes on the night, but the Aggies added nine as well for the contest. USU shot 56.6 percent from the field on the night. The Pokes did hold the advantage on the glass 38-32.

The Pokes attacked the paint early with Wenzel and Walters leading the way for a 6-4 lead in the opening three minutes. The Aggies battled back to tie the contest until a layup from Manyawu made it an 11-9 contest with 14:20 left in the half.

Caden Powell scored five straight for the Pokes to give Wyoming a 16-11 lead with under 13 minutes left in the half. The Pokes held off the Aggies and built the lead to 23-18 with under 10 minutes left in the half as Wenzel got to double-figures.

Griffin got into the scoring with five-straight points for a 28-20 lead for the Pokes with under seven minutes left in the opening 20 minutes. Walters pushed it to a 10-point lead seconds later. Utah State went on a 5-0 run for a 30-25 contest, but Wyoming did the same for a 35-25 game with 3:54 left in the half.

Utah State would get the offense going and make it a four-point contest at 37-33 and later made it a three-point contest with under a minute left in the first half. Walters made it a 43-39 contest at the buzzer.

Utah State would tie the contest using a 6-0 run in the early goings of the second half for a 45-45 game with 16:30 remaining and took the lead on a three-pointer seconds later to cap the 9-0 run. Wyoming went on a 5-0 run fueled by a Akuel Kot three pointer for a 50-48 lead with 14:33 remaining.

The teams would trade leads over the next several minutes with Wenzel making it a 60-59 game nearly halfway through the second half. The Aggies would take the lead back with a pair of buckets for a 63-60 game with around eight minutes left.

The Pokes went scoreless for over three and a half minutes with the Aggies making it a 65-60 game, but Wenzel recorded a pair of free throws to halt the run. USU added a pair of free throws to make it a 67-62 game with 5:59 left.

Griffin made it a four-point contest with a layup, but once again the Aggies pushed the lead back at the free throw line. Utah State pushed the lead to seven points with two minutes left and that was enough as the Aggies took the contest 84-76

The Aggies were led by Darius Brown II with 24 points on the night. Josh Usuje added 20 points.

The Cowboys hit the road for a pair of games starting with a trip to San Jose State on Saturday.

POKES: The Seven Best Games In The History Of The Wyoming-CSU Border War Rivalry (Naturally, they were all Wyoming wins)

 

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