LAS VEGAS -
Senior guard Josh Adams scored 18 points to move into fifth program history in career points, but the University of Wyoming men's basketball team lost an 88-70 game in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Mountain West Championships on Wednesday. The eighth-seeded Cowboys (14-18, 7-11 MW) were down by 25 in the first half at the Thomas & Mack Center, but cut the lead to seven with nine minutes left, before the ninth-seeded Aggies (16-14, 7-11 MW) sealed the game with free throws.
"Well, disappointment comes to mind for these guys," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "But I can tell you that I told them after the game, I was not at all surprised that it went from 25 to seven with two open looks. That's sort of been their disposition all year. And I thought that [Utah State] played really well. The only line that really sticks out at you is you've got two pretty good three-point shooting team. One was unconscious in Laramie, and not so unconscious today."
Utah State dominated the first half to build a 25-point lead, but Wyoming, as it has all season, fought back to pull within 63-56 with 9:48 left. That would be as close as the Cowboys could get, though, as the Aggies responded with a three to push the advantage back to double digits and made free throws down the stretch to secure the win.
Adams' 18 points moved him to 1,819 in his career and past Reggie Slater's 18,801 from 1989-92. He also added two threes to finish 2015-16 with 96, second in UW single-season history, and 189 for his career, also second in UW career history. Adams played in his 131st game as a Cowboy, which tied him with Eric Leckner (1985-88) for first in Wyoming's record book. His five assists against the Aggies put him at 398 for his career. Junior guard Jason McManamen tallied 23 points for his fourth 20-point effort in Wyoming's last eight games, while sophomore forward Alan Herndon notched the first double-double of his career with a career-high 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Cowboys shot 37 percent (19-of-51) from the field, but a season-low 18 percent (5-of-28) from beyond the arc. Wyoming made a school-record 20 threes against Utah State on Feb. 6, but was held to a season-low five against the Aggies on Wednesday. USU made 48 percent (31-of-64) from the field and 44 percent (11-of-25) from three, as its 47 points in the first half were the most the Pokes have allowed this season. Wyoming's six assists were its second fewest this season, while the Aggies' 19 assists were the second most for a Cowboy foe in 2015-16.