Shorthanded Cowboys Fall in Road Contest at Utah State, 83-63
* University of Wyoming press release
LOGAN, Utah – The Wyoming Cowboys, who are playing with only eight scholarship players, fell on the road on Tuesday to the Utah State Aggies 83-63 in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah.
The Pokes were without the services of leading scorer Noah Reynolds and Brendan Wenzel, amongst other key contributors.
“This was probably an accumulation of a lot of things,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. "When you have seven or eight guys available to start the game and then Jake (Kyman) got back spasms and couldn’t continue it makes it tough. And then we were playing a really good team in a tough environment. There have been a lot of teams come in here and feel what we felt here tonight.
"But there are no excuses. As I told our guys, we had enough in that locker room to give ourselves a chance to win this game. But there has to be a certain level of effort to win that and you have to be able to go to the basket and finish and you have to be able to make the extra pass. You can’t get sped up by the crowd. It would be one thing if we were a young team, but we are an older team that shouldn’t get sped up in an environment like this. But that's what happened.”
The Cowboys were held to 39 percent from the field on the night and were limited to just 13 three-point attempts, as Wyoming averaged 26 per game heading into the contest. The Aggies shot 51 from the field on the night and shot 44 percent from behind the arc, as they averaged 10.4 per game to lead the nation.
Utah State held a 43-34 advantage on the glass and added 21 points in the fast break.
Wyoming was led by Hunter Maldonado with 20 points on the night for back-to-back games with 20 points. He moved over 1,900 career points in the contest. Ethan Anderson added 10 for his fourth game in double-figures this season. Xavier DuSell also added 10 points for back-to-back games in double-figures for the first time this season. Jeremiah Oden chipped in with 13 points and nine rebounds in the contest for three-straight games in double-figures.
The Pokes opened the contest 2-of-8 from the field and the Aggies used an 8-0 to take a 14-5 lead on the Cowboys in the opening five-plus minutes. Utah State was 5-of-7 to open the contest. Oden stopped the run with a layup for a 14-7 game with 13:39 left in the first half.
After the Aggies pushed the lead to 10 on a Taylor Funk three-pointer, DuSell added a and-one play for a 17-10 game at the 12:04 mark of the first frame. Anderson would make it a make it a 19-14 game for the Aggies with nine minutes left with a pair of layups, but the Aggies went on a 7-0 run to make it a 26-14 game with under 7:30 left in the opening frame.
The Pokes would hold USU without a basket for three minutes and made it a 28-20 game with five minutes left in the half with buckets from Max Agbonkpolo and Kyman. The Aggies built the lead to 13 points and funk added another three-pointer in the final minute of the half with the Aggies taking a 40-36 lead into the break.
The Pokes opened the half on an 8-2 run to make it a 52-34 game with 18:14 left in the game. Maldonado led the charge for the Pokes with seven points. The Aggies would then go on a 12-2 run to take a 54-36 lead with 15:34 to play.
DuSell would heat up with a pair of triples, but the Pokes would still trail 59-44 with just over 12 minutes to play. But the Aggies would continue the hot shooting going 8-of-10 from the field for a 64-48 lead halfway through the half.
The Pokes would hold the Aggies scoreless for nearly three minutes, but the Pokes could not chip into the lead trailing 66-50 with under seven minutes remaining. The Aggies would build the lead making five-straight baskets and the Pokes went 1-of-9. Utah State end up taking the contest 83-63.
The Aggies were led by Taylor Funk with 22 points, including 18 in the first half. He was 4-of- 8 from behind the arc. Wyoming held the nation’s leading three-point shooter Steven Ashworth to 0-of-3 from behind the arc.
The Cowboys return home to take on the Boise State Broncos on Saturday evening in a 9 p.m. start in a contest on FS1.
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