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Cowboys to play final road game

Mar 4, 2014 - The Associated Press

LARAMIE -- Still in the hunt for a top-five finish in the Mountain West, the University of Wyoming men's basketball team plays its final road game of the regular season at Utah State on Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT in the Smith Spectrum.

The Cowboys (17-12, 8-8 MW) continue to seek their highest finish in the MW since 2002-03, while the Aggies (16-13, 6-11 MW) look to avenge a 74-57 loss to the Pokes on Feb. 1 in Laramie.

Wyoming sits tied for fifth in the Mountain West standings at 8-8 in the conference and 17-12 overall after a 72-63 loss to Boise State on Saturday at home.

The Pokes have had 18 games decided by single digits this season, while holding a lead or being tied in all 12 losses.

Against the Broncos, the Cowboys scored their most first-half points of the MW season, as both teams shot over 50 percent from the field in the opening half.

Boise State maintained that pace in the second half with 60 percent from the field and 63 percent from deep, while holding Wyoming to 27 percent and no threes on three attempts in the half.

Despite the shooting woes, the Cowboys were within six with 2:46 left. Boise State would close the game with a 6-3 run, though, to take the victory. Boise State's 56 percent (27-of-48) from the field and 50 percent (8-of-16) from deep were both season highs for a Wyoming opponent.

The Broncos outrebounded the Pokes 31-18, including 23-7 in the second half, and earned a 19-0 advantage in bench points.

For the season, Wyoming's 48 percent from the field leads the Mountain West and ranks 20th in the nation, while its 37 percent from deep is third and 64.9 points per game are 10th. UW's 72 percent at the free throw line is seventh.

Defensively, the Cowboys rank second in the Mountain West and 16th in the NCAA in scoring defense at 60.9 points per game and fourth in the conferencein field goal percentage defense at 41 percent.

UW's 31 percent three-point defense is third in the conference and 48th in the nation.

Head coach Stew Morrill and Utah State are ninth in the Mountain West at 6-11 in league play and 16-13 overall.

The Aggies had a four-game losing streak in league play, but broke it with a 75-58 victory at San Jose State on Saturday. Utah State led 39-28 at halftime, but the Spartans fought back within six points at 47-41 with 13:31 left.

That would be the closest USU would led SJSU get, as the Aggies used a 10-2 spurt that put them up 57-43 with 9:21 to go.

On the season, Utah State scores 70.3 points per game for eighth in the MW, as the Aggies shoot 46 percent from the field and 41 percent from deep to rank third and first, respectively, in the MW.

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