So Much for the Good Times: Cowboys Head to No. 4 San Diego State In Season That Went From Bad To Worse
LARAMIE -- Five nights ago, there were smiles at the AA. Oh, the Cowboys had seen a victory slip away on a last-second shot, but there was a sudden feeling that things were starting to straight out for the Wyoming basketball team.
Oh, they had seen a seven-point lead disappear in the final minute, 30 seconds of what became a 78-69 overtime loss to UNLV on Jan. 11. And then last Wednesday they had taken a 67-66 lead on Fresno with 15 seconds to play, only to see Fresno take the in bounds pass on a fast break, and six seconds later, Jalen Harris gave the Bulldogs the game-ending 68-67 lead.
It wasn't time to celebration but it was time for a sign of relief, a feeling that the Cowboys were getting close to being competitive.
It was a short-lived celebration.
On Saturday, they opened the doors of the AA to a Fresno State team that had only one win in six Mountain West games, only to not just be handed a 65-50 loss, but to be outscored by 15-points in the first half, and to have been held scoreless not only in the final 7:12 of the first half, but also the first 4:13 of the second half.
It was the 11th time this season that a team has outscored the Cowboys in double figures in a half of a game, including in each half of a 66-32 loss to South Carolina at the AA on Nov. 10. In fact, eight of the 11 times an opponent has reached double figures in a half against Wyoming this year has come in the arena once-known as the Dome of Doom.
"I don't think we did our job (Saturday)," coach Allen Edwards said after that game. "The last two games I felt we were taking steps in the right direction. ... I thought we took a step back (against Fresno State)."
And now they head to San Diego, where they will take on No. 4 ranked and undefeated San Diego State for a Tuesday night game against a team that beat the Cowboys by 20 points (72-62) 13 nights earlier in Laramie.
This is a team that came into the AA and not only hit 25-of-48 field goal attempts (8-for-23 from the three-point range), but also sank 14 of 15 ftree throws, and forced 11 Cowboys turnovers.
The Cowboys, meanwhile, hit 17 of 51 free throws, missed five of 18 free throws, and trailed 32-21 at the half.
But that's the kind of season it has been for a team that ranks 341st out of 350 Division I baseketball temas with an average 60.2 points per game, and 350th in offensive rebounds per game at 4.95. They are last in the MW in points scoured, offensive rebounds and defensive rebounds.
The fans have noticed. The AA has become an echo chamber. There are plenty of good seats available -- and bad seats, too, for that matter. The only surprising thing is that three MW teams are actually averaging a smaller average fan turnout for home games than the Cowboys -- Colorado State, Air Force and San Jose State.