LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Junior guard Jason McManamen scored a career-high 28 points, including eight threes, but the University of Wyoming men's basketball team lost a 79-75 game to Fresno State on Wednesday night in the Arena-Auditorium. McManamen's eight triples rank second in school history and third in facility history, just one shy of Maurice Alexander's nine against New Mexico on Feb. 9, 1991.
"My thoughts are pretty varied right now," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "Fresno State was a team that came in after playing 25 or 26 games shooting 31 percent from three and make15 of 22 from three tonight [68 percent]. All the credit goes to them because the ball went in the hole. You're not going to win many games when your opponent makes 15 of 22 threes."
The Cowboys (12-15, 5-9 MW) trailed by 18 with 12 minutes left in the game, but would fight back to pull within one with just under two minutes remaining. McManamen hit a triple in the spurt and senior guard Josh Adams added one as well, before a steal and fast-break dunk brought the AA crowd to a stand. That would be as close at the Pokes could get, though, as the Bulldogs (17-9, 8-5 MW) responded with a three and quickly pushed the lead back to nine.
"I thought our guys did make one heck of a comeback," Shyatt said. "Unfortunately, we were down 18 which is a lot to overcome home or away. We cut it to one with under two minutes to go and gave ourselves a chance to win. We hurt ourselves at the foul line. We were 5-of-11 from the free-throw line but we missed some big free throws."
McManamen shot 10-of-17 from the field for the game and 8-of-15 from deep, as the eight threes tie for 18th in the NCAA this season and were just two shy of the Mountain West single-game record. He now has 77 threes in 2015-16 to move to fifth in Wyoming single-season history and has knocked home 26 in the last five games. McManamen has hit five or more threes in four games this season. Adams chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds, while tying career highs with eight assists and four steals. Adams' two threes were enough to tie him with Reggie Fox (1987-89) for fifth in UW history at 165. Both Mcmanamen and Adams played all 40 minutes against the Bulldogs.
Wyoming shot 47 percent (28-of-60) from the field and 38 percent (14-of-37) beyond the arc, but made a season-low 46 percent (5-of-11) at the free-throw line. The 60 field-goal attempts tied a season high, while five free throws made were a season low and 11 attempts were its second fewest. Fresno State connected on 55 percent (26-of-47) from the field and a blistering 68 percent (15-of-22), as the Bulldogs' 15 made triples were third in the building's history. Both percentages marked season highs for a Cowboy foe. Wyoming had 17 assists and six turnovers, its fifth time in the last nine games with less than 10, but trailed 31-27 on the boards.
The Cowboys play at Colorado State on Saturday for the 225th Border War. Tip is set for 2 p.m. MT in Moby Arena.