LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Senior forward Larry Nance Jr. scored 19 points and junior guard Josh Adams added 14, but the University of Wyoming men's basketball team dropped a 60-52 game to San Diego State on Wednesday night in the Arena-Auditorium to break a seven-game overall winning streak. After trailing by as much as 12 points in the second half, the Cowboys (15-3, 4-1 MW) climbed within five with just over a minute left, but the Aztecs (13-4, 3-1 MW) hit free throws to hand UW its first conference loss.
"Two of the three things that we wanted to focus on entering the game -- turnovers and taking care of the ball against their pressure -- we didn't do a good job of in the first half and that cost us about six points," UW head coach Larry Shyatt. "In the second half, we cleaned that up. The second piece was offensive rebounding. The first half we did a great job, and in the second half their athleticism and their toughness inside really showed."
SDSU built a 48-36 lead with 8:36 remaining in the game, as the Pokes faced their largest deficit this season at home. Wyoming would whittle the advantage to 51-46 with 1:21 left on two free throws from senior guard Riley Grabau, but that would be as close as the Pokes could get. The Aztecs didn't make a field goal the last nine minutes of the game, but snagged offensive rebounds and converted at the charity stripe to break UW's 13-game winning streak at home.
"I didn't think we could win the game if we were a nine-assist, 13-turnover team," Shyatt said. "I didn't think we could win the game if they got 13 offensive rebounds. We did a lot of good things fighting back into the game, but I thought we gave up too many offensive rebounds down the stretch."
Nance posted his sixth-straight game in double figures and added a team-high eight rebounds, while Adams has scored at least 10 in the last eight games and had five boards against the Aztecs. Grabau went 5-of-5 at the free throw line and has now made 33-consecutive attempts. The Cowboy offense struggled to 52 points, its second-lowest output this season, by shooting 42 percent (18-of-43) from the field and 29 percent (4-of-14) from deep. The Aztecs weren't much better at 37 percent (18-of-49) and 29 percent (5-of-17), respectively, but outrebounded the Pokes 34-26, including 13-5 on the offensive glass. SDSU forced Wyoming into 13 turnovers and owned a 16-2 advantage in points off turnovers and 15-2 in second-chance points.
Wyoming next plays at Fresno State on Saturday at 5 p.m. MT.