by staff–14 Jan ’16
After trailing by 13 in the first half, the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team pulled within one point of San Jose State three times in the last six minutes, but the Spartans held on for a 62-55 win on Wednesday night in The Event Center. The Cowboys (9-9, 2-3 MW) lost their fifth game by single digits this season, while the Spartans (6-11, 1-4 MW) improved to 2-8 in the all-time series.
The Pokes fought from behind most of the night, but would manage to cut the lead to just one three times in the final six minutes. That would be as close as Wyoming would get, though, as missed shots and turnovers kept the Cowboys from taking the lead. Senior guard Josh Adams’ two free throws with 2:25 left was UW’s final one-point deficit, before SJSU made six-straight free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
Wyoming suffered through one of its poorest shooting nights of the season by hitting 35 percent (17-of-48) from the field, 27 percent (6-of-22) from deep and 68 percent (15-of-22) at the free-throw line. The Cowboys’ 55 points tied a season low, as did their six made threes. UW’s 22 rebounds were also a season low, as the Spartans grabbed 39 for a plus-17 rebounding margin. SJSU hit 46 percent (23-of-50) from the field and 30 percent (7-of-23) beyond the arc. Wyoming had 10 less turnovers, 22-12, and seven less fouls, 25-18, though.
Sophomore forward Alan Herndon paced the Pokes with 14 points, just two shy of his career high, to go with four rebounds. He was a perfect 4-of-4 from the field, including 2-of-2 from three, and 4-of-4 at the free-throw line. Junior guard Jason McManamen added 13 points to reach double figures for the eighth time in Wyoming’s last nine games. He knocked home three more triples as well and now has 10 in his last three contests. Adams finished with a season-low 10 points and didn’t make a three for just the second time this season. Sophomore guard Alexander Aka Gorski tied a career high with a team-high five rebounds.
The Cowboys started the game strong with an 11-5 lead thanks to two early threes from McManamen, but the Spartans would own the last 15 minutes of the first half. SJSU would outscore Wyoming 29-12 the rest of the frame for their first double-digit lead in MW play this season and a 34-23 halftime lead. The Pokes shot just 32 percent (8-of-25) from the field and 27 percent (3-of-11) from deep in the first half, while allowing 54 percent (14-of-26) and 36 percent (5-of-14), respectively, to the Spartans. SJSU outrebounded the Cowboys 19-11 and led 8-3 in assists.
Wyoming continues its roadtrip at New Mexico on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT.