(Editor's note: UW athletics release)
FRESNO, Calif. - The Wyoming Cowboys struggled from the field in an 81-61 loss to Fresno State on Monday evening in the Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif. Wyoming shot 39 percent from the field for its lowest total of the season. The Bulldogs also held the Pokes to a season low 61 points. The Cowboys move to 7-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play with the Bulldogs improving to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the MW.
“I think Fresno State had their back against the wall and they wanted to come out and find a win and give them credit,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “In this league you have to play like your backs are against the wall every game. In the first half, Fresno State did a great job defending the three point line, but we missed some layups and free throws. We will learn from it and get better.”
Wyoming was led by Freshman Marcus Williams with 22 points on the night, as he has scored in double-figures in every game this season. It marked his fourth game with 20 or more points this season. He also added a team-high seven rebounds in the contest. Sophomore Kwane Marble II added 12 points off the bench going 6-of-9 from the field. Junior Hunter Maldonado added 11 points.
Wyoming attempted only 17 three pointers on the night and connected on a season-low five triples. Fresno State shot 55 percent from the field and owned a 42-25 advantage on the boards. Wyoming offense was credited with only six assists on the night for a season-low.
“It is hard to win on the road,” Linder said. “We found a way to split and that is part of it. With a young team and we are going to have to learn a lot from it. We look forward to getting back on the floor.”
The Pokes held the Bulldogs to 1-of-5 from the field to open the game to build an early 5-2 advantage in the opening three minutes of play. The Pokes would move the lead to 8-3 a minute later thanks to an and-one play from sophomore Kenny Foster.
Marble II came off the bench for the Cowboys and added a pair of acrobatic layups to help the Pokes build a 13-7 lead with 12:45 left in the opening frame. Fresno State would make four-straight field goals to make it a 17-17 game halfway through the half.
Fresno State would take its first lead of the game with a triple from Orlando Robinson and he would add a layup for a 22-19 Bulldog advantage with 8:24 left in the half. Fresno State added to the lead with a pair of three-pointers from Jordan Campbell for a 28-19 lead, as Wyoming went scoreless for over four minutes.
The Bulldogs would maintain the advantage and took a 37-26 lead into the half. The Cowboys were held to 33 percent from the field in the first half and were 1-of-7 from behind the arc. Williams would make it a 10-point contest at 45-35 with his first triple of the game with 14:26 left in the contest.
The Pokes would make it a nine point contest thanks to Marble II and junior Drake Jeffries with 13 minutes left in the game. Jeffries added a triple with Marble II adding a layup. But the Pokes could not break anymore into the lead, as Fresno State moved the contest back to double-digits.
Fresno State built the lead to 41-27 in the opening minutes of the second half. Maldonado would make it an 11-point game at 41-30 with an and-one play with 12:25 left in the game.
The Bulldogs would push the lead to as much as 18 points with 4:06 left in the game. Wyoming cut the deficit to 14 points with a three-pointer from Jeffries to make it a 72-58 contest with 3:17 remaining. Williams made it an 11-point game with 2:18 left, but the Pokes could not break through anymore falling 81-61
The Bulldogs were led by Robinson with 33 points, as he added 13 rebounds on the night. He was 12-of-16 from the field for Fresno State. Christian Gray added 17 points and nine rebounds on the night.
The Cowboys return to action next Monday hosting Boise State in the Arena-Auditorium at 7 p.m. in a contest on CBS Sports Network.