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Cowboys can't protect second-half lead at Utah State

Mar 6, 2014 - From staff reports

A solid start didn't result in a strong finish once again for the University of Wyoming men's basketball team.

The Cowboys dropped their fourth consecutive game with a 65-54 loss to Utah State on Wednesday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum in Logan, Utah. The story was reported by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. .

UW fell to 17-13 overall and 8-9 in the Mountain West. Utah State improved to 17-13, 7-11.

The Cowboys are now tied for sixth place in the MW standings with Fresno State. Nevada and Boise State are tied for fourth place after Nevada beat Boise State 83-81 in double overtime Wednesday in Boise, Idaho.

For the second consecutive game, UW led at halftime (29-26), but it couldn't hold the lead in the second half.

The Cowboys shot 36.2 percent from the field and was 5 of 24 from 3-point range. They also were outrebounded 47-27.

Sophomore guard Josh Adams scored a game-high 21 points, and has 50 in his last two games. Senior guard Nathan Sobey added 14 points and a career-high nine rebounds.

Senior center Jarred Shaw led four Utah State players in double figures with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore forward Kyle Davis came off the bench and had 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.

UW led by as many as eight points early in the second half as Sobey scored UW first five points of the half. An Adams basket gave the Cowboys a 36-28 lead less than two minutes into the half.

The Cowboys led 41-38 with 12 minutes, 53 seconds to play, but scored only 13 points the rest of the game.

Utah State outscored UW 17-9 run over the last six minutes of the game.

"I don't want to blame it on fatigue, but (Utah State) took over on the glass like there was no tomorrow," said UW coach Larry Shyatt. "From the 14-minute mark to about the five-minute mark, there was a major difference on the glass.

UW's defense was solid. It held Utah State to 42.6 percent shooting and 4 of 14 from 3-point range (28.6 percent). The Aggies entered the game shooting 41 percent from behind the arch.

"We played so hard on defense, and then those second shots hurt us so bad," Shyatt added. "It's like air coming out of a balloon. It wasn't for a lack of trying, but Shaw and Davis were a presence inside."

UW trailed most of the first half, but went on a 9-2 run in the final 3:37 to take the lead at halftime. Sobey made a 3-pointer and junior forward Derek Cooke Jr. and senior guard Jerron Granberry converted three-point plays during the run.

The Cowboys end the regular season at 2 p.m. Saturday by hosting Border War rival Colorado State at the Arena-Auditorium. Colorado State won at home 78-66 over last-place San Jose State on Wednesday night.

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