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Colorado State best Wyoming Cowboys, 65-61

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Posted at 7:39 AM, Feb 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-24 09:39:12-05

(Editor's note: UW Athletics release)

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – In a contest that featured two of the top offensive teams in the Mountain West, it was defense that took center stage with the Cowboys falling short 61-55 against Colorado State on Wednesday evening in Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo. Wyoming was held to 34 percent from the field and fell to 22-5 overall and 11-3 in the conference.

"Those are two well-coached teams," head coach Jeff Linder said. "Those are two teams that people like to talk about offense. The reason we have the records we have is because we can sit down and guard."

Drake Jeffries led the Pokes with 22 points on 6-of-15 from behind the arc. He also added seven rebounds. Xavier DuSell added 11 points for his first double digit scoring output in conference play this season. He hit three three-pointers in the contest. The nation's highest scoring duo of Hunter Maldonado and Graham Ike were held to 12 points on the night.

"Those role guys stepped up," Linder said. "There's no question we needed those guys. X needed to see the ball go in. Drake kept us in the game with some of those shots. JO did a good job with rebounding and on defense.

"We need those guys."

The Rams shot 39 percent from the field on the night but added nine triples in the contest. Wyoming hit 11 threes in the contest. Wyoming held a 36-33 advantage on the glass. Wyoming scored only 16 points in the paint in the contest.

The Pokes went scoreless for nearly four minutes to open the contest, as David Roddy recorded a pair of baskets for an early 4-0 lead for the Rams. Ike ended the drought with a bucket at the 16:12 mark of the contest.

Isaiah Stevens would add a jumper and Roddy a triple and a pair of free throws for a 9-2 lead for Colorado State with 14:26 left in the first frame. Jeffries ended the run with a triple, but another run of 5-0 by Colorado State made it a 16-5 game at the 13-minute mark.

The Cowboys would make three-straight field goals with a layup and triple from DuSell and a layup from Noah Reynolds for a 19-12 contest for CSU halfway through the half. DuSell added another triple for a 19-15 game with 8:27 left in the half.

The Pokes would then go scoreless for over three minutes, as the Rams built the lead to 21-15, but a Jeffries three pointer made it a three-point game with 4:43 left in the half and DuSell tied the game with a three pointer the following trip down the floor.

Reynolds gave the Pokes a 24-23 lead with a three-pointer with 2:37 left in the opening frame. Jeffries added his third triple of the game for a 27-25 lead, but the Rams closed the half on a 6-0 run for a 31-27 lead at the half.

The Pokes and Rams traded early buckets, but Jeffries added a triple and made it a 33-32 game for CSU at 17:41 mark of the second half. Jeremiah Oden hit a corner triple to tie the contest at 35-35 with 15:09 left in the contest.

The Rams would later go on 8-2 run and take a 43-37 lead on Roddy triple with under 13 minutes remaining in the contest. Jeffries would go on a 5-0 run himself with a three-pointer and slam for a 43-42 game with 11:35 remaining.

Chandler Jacobs of the Rams went on a 5-0 run himself to build a 48-42 lead for the Rams halfway through the half. The Pokes went scoreless for nearly three minutes but added a pair of free throws from Brendan Wenzel to make it a four-point game, but that was short lived with the Rams pushing the lead to 52-46 with 6:21 remaining.

Jeffries hit his sixth three of the game to pull the Pokes to within one-point at 54-53 with 3:42 remaining, but the Rams went on a 5-0 run with a Roddy layup and triple from Jacobs for a 59-53 game with two minutes remaining,

Ike hit a pair of free throws with 1:40 remaining making it a four-point game and the Pokes would get a stop, but Jeffries would miss a three-point attempt and free throws from the Rams late would push Colorado State to the victory.

The Rams were led by Roddy with 26 points on the night on 8-of-13 shooting. He also added 11 rebounds for the Rams. Jacobs added 18 points off the bench.

The Cowboys return to action on Saturday hosting Nevada at 6 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium in a contest on CBS Sports Network.