Cowboys Drop Shootout in Las Vegas

by staff–22 Dec ’15

Senior guard Josh Adams posted his first double-double with career highs of 37 points and 10 rebounds, but the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team dropped a 90-82 contest to Marshall on Monday night in Cox Pavilion in the Global Sports Classic.  The Cowboys (7-5) were within two possessions of the Thunder Herd (4-7) most the second half, but couldn’t get stops on the defense end.

“A little bit more Marshall pace tonight and a little bit less Wyoming pace, but you know our guys battle back twice,” UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. “We were down in each half and both times battled back to find ourselves in the last minute and half in a one-point game.”

The Cowboys led early in the second half, but allowed Marshall to build a six-point lead at 62-56 with eight minutes left. Adams would pull the Pokes within one twice with two minutes left, but that was as close as the Cowboys could get as 90 points were the most UW has allowed in six seasons under Shyatt. The Thunder Herd would make free throws down the stretch to keep the Pokes at bay.

Adams’ career night came on 11-of-19 from the field, 7-of-11 beyond the arc and 8-of-9 at the free-throw line. His 11 field goals and seven threes both were career highs, while his seven threes were second in Cowboy single-game history and just two shy of tying a school record. He also moved into ninth in UW’s career lists with 131 made threes and 17th with 1,368 points.

“What can you say about Josh Adams?” Shyatt said. “He made some tremendous plays and got nine defensive rebounds. Unfortunately he didn’t quite handle the ball against some pressure down the stretch, but if you have to fail you don’t want it to be in heart and hustle. His heart and hustle was in the game. It’s hard to find faults when a guy gets 37 and 10, a double-double.”

Junior guard Jason McManamen added a career-high 18 points for his seventh game in double-figure points this season, while freshman guard Justin James had 10 points for his third-straight game in double figures. Sophomore forward Alan Herndon earned six rebounds and career-high five assists.

Wyoming shot 46 percent (25-of-56) from the field for the game and 39 percent (12-of-31) beyond the arc compared to 48 percent (30-of-62) and 34 percent (11-of-32), respectively, for Marshall. Both teams hit better than 85 percent at the free-throw line. The Thundering Herd led 38-28 on the boards, including 13-7 in offensive rebounds, which lead to a 15-8 advantage in second-chance points.

“If you look on the stat sheet, offensively we did about everything you could to win a game against a team like this,” Shyatt said. “It clearly was the other end where they dominated us with some key offensive boards. I’d dare say of those 13 offensive boards they converted them into 15 or 16 points.”

It was back and forth on the offensive end in the first half. The Thundering Herd built a 10-point lead at 21-11, before the Cowboys stormed back with a 12-0 run to retake an advantage. The two squads would exchange the lead over the next several minutes, before Marshall ended the opening frame with a 7-0 run for a 44-37 lead at the break. Adams’ 19 points in the first half were just one shy of his career high in the opening frame, but the Thundering Herd’s 44 points were the most Wyoming allowed in a first half this season.

Wyoming shot 48 percent (13-of-27) from the field and 44 percent (7-of-16) from deep in the first half, but allowed 50 percent (17-of-34) and 40 percent (8-of-20) to Marshall. The Cowboys were outrebounded 20-13 in the first half, but earned a 13-9 advantage in points off turnovers. The first half featured five ties and six lead changes.

The Cowboys conclude the tournament against Houston on Tuesday at 6 p.m. MT.