LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Junior guard Josh Adams notched 22 points and the University of Wyoming men's basketball team was within two points of Fresno State in the final minute, but the Bulldogs got a crucial offensive rebound and layup to earn a 64-59 win over the Cowboys on Wednesday night in the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes (21-7, 10-5 MW) played their 500th game in the Dome of Doom and still hold a 372-128 record in the building.
"A disappointing night for us, but I have to credit them," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "I've seen them play often enough to know they're in a lot of games, and they've won their share in conference play at 8-7. This wasn't a mistake. They deserved the victory. That's hard as a coach to say. Ultimately, I'm the responsible party when our team gets outplayed."
Wyoming and Fresno State (13-15, 8-7 MW) battled through nine ties and nine lead changes over 39 minutes, before a three from Adams brought the Pokes within 59-57 with 1:02 remaining. The Bulldogs ran the clock and missed a jumper, but got an offensive board and the ensuing tip-in with 19 seconds left to go up by four. The Cowboys missed on their next possession and Fresno State hit its free throws for their second victory ever in Laramie.
Adams posted his fourth 20-point scoring game of the season and is now just 26 points shy of 1,000 for his career. He added four rebounds, three assists, two steals and tied a career high with two blocks. Senior guard Riley Grabau chipped in 11 points, including three triples, and now has 10 games this season with three or more triples. Senior forward Larry Nance Jr. returned from a four-game absence due to mononucleosis to contributed nine points, eight rebounds and four assists.
Wyoming shot 47 percent (20-of-43) from the field and 42 percent (8-of-19) beyond the arc to 40 percent (23-of-57) and 40 percent (6-of-15), respectively, for Fresno State. The loss was UW's first this season when outshooting an opponent from deep. The Bulldogs earned a 34-31 edge in rebounds, including 12 offensive boards, and collected eight steals on 14 Cowboy turnovers. Fresno State led 17-2 in points off turnovers, the second-most points scored off turnovers against UW this season.
"I thought that Fresno came in here and played better than us," Shyatt said. "I thought they played extremely hard tonight. The two key statistics that playing hard affects is offensive rebounding -- they were quicker to the ball, more aggressive to the ball -- and the second stat is they are seventh in the nation in steals and they forced 14 turnovers by us."
The Pokes are at UNLV on Saturday for a 6 p.m. MT tip in the Thomas & Mack Center.