In back to back games the Wyoming Cowboys had to face top ten teams. BYU came into the AA ranked #8 and was looking for an easy win against a struggling Wyoming team. The Cowboys may be struggling but they are not willing to lie down and die. The game started with Wyoming getting the first basket. Not long after Wyoming had a 4–0 lead, this game started in the hands of the Cowboys. Less than four minutes into the game the teams saw the first tie of the game. The next two minutes were filled with intense play but no scoring. This drought was brought to an end when Cruz drained a three; this basket led to a six point Wyoming run but BYU answered with a run of their own. Emery started the run by making a layup and it came to an end after 15 points. Wyoming went from up six to down nine in six minutes. Desmar ended this run and took the game over. The Cowboys got back into the game with team work and Desmar who had eight points in the last six minutes. The first half was a half of streaks where one team would take over and then the other team would. Neither team played bad it was just one team would play better for a stretch then the other team would step it up. These streaks ended the half in a tie. The second half was played a little different by both teams. The second half had five ties and four lead changes. The first half saw a number of streaks while the second half saw more balanced play. The game stayed close for the first ten minutes of the half as neither team could out play the other. After the midpoint of the half BYU started to pull away and yet never grew the lead higher than ten points. BYU may have had the lead but the Cowboys never gave up. With 2:05 Wyoming was only down by one and looking to take the game over. The score stayed with Wyoming down one until Fredette showed why he is one of the best players in the nation. With 47 seconds left he made a shot and was fouled giving BYU a four point lead. Thiam was then fouled making the deficit two again. 29 seconds was just not enough time for the Cowboys to regain the lead. Wyoming was forced to foul which led to BYU winning by 7.
A seven point win is pretty good given BYU’s national ranking. BYU is fifth in the nation in scoring averaging 84.2 points a game. Wyoming held this high scoring team to only 69 points which is their lowest scoring game this year. BYU also has Jimmer Fredette who is the nation’s leading scorer this season averaging just short of 28 points. Wyoming held Jimmer to 26 points of which ten of them came at the free throw line. He is shooting the ball 48% on the season but Wyoming held him to 7–21 field goals and 2–11 from deep. He is one of the best players this year and Wyoming held him to one of his worst shooting games. The first half was not just even in scoring but most other stats also. BYU had the advantage in turnovers and steals but everything else was pretty close. Even though BYU won the game Wyoming stayed close in most stats.
Wyoming matched BYU pretty well with individual scoring. Both teams had three players score double digits. For Wyoming Desmar, Cruz and Thiam counted for 51 of the team’s total points. Desmar had 23 points which was just three behind Jimmer. Cruz was one rebound short of a double-double but he still finished with 16 points, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block. Thiam had 12 points and 3 blocks for the Cowboys. All three of the players had big games which was a lot of the reason the Cowboys kept the game close.
After the game team spirit was high even though they did not win. Luster talked about how they could have won this game but they had a few empty possessions. “You miss 100% of the shots you do not take,” is what Luster said about turnovers. Schroyer brought up that not many players can play right now and some have to play limited minutes. He went on to say, “Waddell had an MRI on his foot today and I have no idea what the results will be,” to explain why Adam did not play much. He said that it is the same foot that was hurt before but it is a different part. When Schroyer was asked how the team took care of Jimmer he responded by saying, “We did everything we could.” He talked about how they kept changing the player that was guarding him so that way he could not get comfortable. Luster talked about how they practice other defenses all week but stuck with man for the full game. Man defense worked so there was no need to change but it was good to be ready. Fredette is a great player that has went off for 30+ points a few times this year and Wyoming held him in check. It may have been only by about a basket but the Cowboys held the nation’s leading scorer under his average. No matter how it is looked at Wyoming had a great game even though they lost. With what they accomplished in this game they showed that they can play with the best teams in the nation. Conference play is now half over and the Cowboys believe the second half will be better than the first.