The Wyoming Cowboys fell to the Pacific Tigers 73-65 on Tuesday evening in the Spanos Center in Stockton, Calif., as the contest featured 64 fouls. Senior guard Jason McManamen poured in a season-high 23 points going 16-of-16 from the free throw line. The Pokes drop to 3-1 on the season with Pacific moving to 2-2.
“I thought turnovers hurt us and some of those turnovers resulted in fouls,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said. “On the road there are always challenges and you have to adjust. I thought the fouls on the night made it difficult to get into a flow.”
The perfect night from the line by McManamen was the most made free throws without a miss in the Mountain West era of Cowboy Basketball. Junior forward Alan Herndon scored a career-high 17 points and added nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Justin James added 14 points, as he has scored in double-figures in three-straight games for the second time in his career.
The Pokes shot 33 percent (18-of-54) from the field and 19 percent (5-of-26) from the three point line. UW was solid from the charity stripe shooting 83 percent (24-of-29). Pacific shot 35 percent (19-of-55) from the field and 21 percent (4-of-19).
“We were trying to establish the inside game early, but at the end of the day when I look at the stat sheet we did what need to do to be successful,” Edwards said. “But we just didn’t make shots tonight.”
The Cowboys held the advantage on the boards at 42-38. Wyoming recorded a season-high 19 turnovers on the evening, as Pacific recorded nine steals.
The game was tied 33-33 at the half. Wyoming struggled in the second half going scoreless for over four minutes after opening the half with a pair of threes. The drought saw the Tigers go on a 10-0 run and build a 49-41 advantage.
The Pokes would cut the lead down to three on numerous occasions, but UW could not break past. Herndon led the Cowboys during the comeback effort scoring seven straight points to cut the lead to 57-54 with 5:16 left in the frame. UW cut the lead to one twice in the final minutes, but a turnover followed by a three pointer by the Pacific was too much for Wyoming to overcome.
The Pokes built an early lead in the opening minutes of the first half. The early 11-4 run was highlighted by seven points from McManamen and paired with six rebounds from junior forward Jordan Naughton. Pacific would cut the lead to as little as three at 11-8, but the Cowboy bench maintained the advantage for the Pokes.
The Wyoming defense was tough during the opening half holding Pacific without a bucket for over four minutes of play during the final 10 minutes of the stanza. But a three point play by Ray Bowles cut the Pokes’ lead to 26-23 with 4:22 left in the half. The Tiger added a three pointer by T.J. Wallace to tie the game at 26-26.
Pacific took their first lead of the game in the final minute of the stanza on a pair of free throws to make it 33-31. But Justin James added his own pair of free throws to make it a 33-33 game at the half.
The Cowboys struggled from beyond the three point line going 2-of-14 in the opening frame. The Pokes committed 17 fouls in the first half. It was the most since UW recorded 19 against Denver on Nov. 25, 2009.
Jack Williams led Pacific in scoring with 17 on the night. Wallace added 16 points going 6-of-11 from the field.
The Cowboys continue their road swing on Friday heading to PAC-12 foe California. The game can be seen on the PAC-12 Network and tips at 9 p.m. MT.