Cowboys Drop Hard-Fought 52-44 Decision at Green Bay

Nov. 19, 2011

Green Bay, Wisc.

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Redshirt junior forward Leonard Washington notched 11 points and senior guard JayDee Luster added a season-high 10, but the University of Wyoming men's basketball team lost a 52-44 game to Green Bay on Saturday night in the Resch Center. The Cowboys (2-1) battled hard in their first road game of the 2011-12 season, but the Phoenix (2-2) held UW to one field goal over the final eight minutes of the contest to come away with the tough win.

"I never left the gym tonight thinking that we didn't give and give out there on the floor," Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We played very hard and played a lot of good defense. We were on the road and gave ourselves a chance to win at the five-minute mark, so I can't fault our guys."

At the 11:16 mark of the second half, Washington laid in a steal to bring Wyoming within one at 35-34, but that was as close as the Cowboys could come down the stretch. Waddell posted a dunk shortly thereafter at 8:14, but UW went without a field goal until Cruz hit a three with 38 seconds left.

"We just couldn't get the basketball in the hole," Shyatt said. "When the game was at hand, I thought we got the ball down in the block to [Leonard] Washington and [Adam] Waddell, but they just couldn't put the ball in. It wasn't anything but good defense by Green Bay."

Washington went 4-of-11 from the field, grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and posted four blocks and three steals in one of his most complete games as a Cowboy. Luster's night came courtesy of a 2-of-6 effort from the floor and 4-of-8 from the charity strip, as he added four assists and two steals. Overall, UW shot 31 percent (15-of-47) from the floor and hit four treys, compared to 31 percent (18-of-57) and five threes for the Phoenix. UW was outrebounded 43-35, but held a 12-8 advantage in assists.

Senior guard Francisco Cruz and senior center Adam Waddell opened the game with two buckets each, including a dunk by Waddell, to give UW a 10-3 start to the game five minutes in. The Pokes kept the lead in the seven-to-eight point range through the middle minutes, as Washington hit a layup and Cruz added a jumper. The Cowboy defense showed it came to play, as well. UW forced seven turnovers in the first nine minutes and allowed Green Bay to hit just 2-of-11 shots.

Green Bay found its grove on both ends of the floor by crashing the glass and forcing turnovers. The Phonex closed the gap with a 9-2 run that tied the game at 21-21 with 5:53 left in the first half and went up by as many as four shortly thereafter. The squads traded buckets down the stretch, including a Washington dunk and a Arthur Bouedo trey, but Green Bay took a slight 29-26 lead into halftime.

Cruz had six points in the opening frame, while Bouedo and Luster both contributed five. Both squads hit 10 shots from the field in the first half, but Green Bay held a 21-15 advantage in rebounds and 11-8 in turnovers. The Cowboys connected on 50 percent (10-of-20), while holding GB to 30 percent (10-of-33).

Washington opened the second half with a layup and Luster added a three to quickly tie the game at 31-31 two minutes in. Green Bay hit a trey to go up by three, but both teams hit a cold stretch until the 11:16 mark when Leonard nabbed a steal and laid it in on the fastbreak.

A Phoenix trey pushed the advantage back to four, before another Waddell dunk pulled UW within two at 38-36 with 8:14 to go. It was a dogfight down the stretch, as Green Bay used a 7-0 run to etch out a 10-point lead at 47-37 with 1:33 left. The Phoenix defense held the Cowboys to one field goal over the final eight minutes to facilitate the spurt, and hit free throws down the stretch to ice the game.

Wyoming returns to the floor on Tuesday night at 7 p.m., when the Cowboys host South Dakota in the Arena-Auditorium.