WYOMING BASKETBALL: Cowboys Snap Skid, Beat Rival Rams in Border War

In first victory in 42 days, Wyoming stops Colorado State for first conference win

Ethan Anderson scored seven in the second half to help lead the Cowboys to victory Saturday during a back-and-forth battle in the Border War against Colorado State. Anderson finished with 13 points and five rebounds. (Courtesy photo from the University of Wyoming Athletics)

By Kaycee Clark-Mellott

Special to the Wyoming Truth

LARAMIE, Wyo.—A classic rivalry matchup ended in spectacular fashion when the Wyoming Cowboys (5-13, 0-6) hosted the Colorado State Rams (CSU) (10-10, 2-5) for their edition of the Border War Saturday.

Colorado State performed well in the team’s out-of-conference schedule, mainly without star Isaiah Stevens, and finished with an 8-5 record. The team’s only wins in the Mountain West Conference came against Fresno State and the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). When Stevens returned, he averaged 18.6 points per game.

Jan 21, 2023; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys guard Noah Reynolds (21) against the Colorado State Rams at Arena-Auditorium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-UW Media-Athletics

Wyoming entered the game on an eight-game losing streak, stretching as far back as Dec. 10 when the team beat Louisiana Tech. The injury-riddled Cowboys returned two more players on Saturday, as  Hunter Maldonado and Hunter Thompson were back on  the court.

The game began with missed shots and turnovers for both teams during the early minutes, until the Rams took the lead on a free throw 1-0. However, that was Colorado State’s biggest lead of the half, as the team lost it a minute later and then played catch up.

The Pokes fired from their offense and extended their lead to 31-16 with 4:12 left in the first. But the Rams fought back some, and the Cowboys led at the break 35-21.

One of the biggest differences in the first half was Colorado’s turnovers at 12 compared to the Pokes’ 3.

Noah Reynolds led the Cowboys with 12 points, while Thompson had six points and six rebounds. CSU’s  scoring was held to a minimum, with Stevens scoring six points to lead the team.

Wyoming came out of the half a bit slow, allowing the Rams to edge within single digits early in the second half. But the  Cowboys got back to a 13-point lead with 13:14 left in the game, 45-32.

Then Wyoming went ice cold for the next 7:33, while Colorado State moved ahead, 47-45.  

The Cowboys put up a fight, and the game went back-and-forth. The Pokes returned the favor with a four-point lead, only to have the Rams answer with free throws and a layup to reclaim the lead, 57-54. 

Reynolds’ driving layup following a free throw tied the game at 57 with 1:38 left on the clock. After several missed shots, Reynolds went 1-2 from the line to give Wyoming a 58-57 lead with seconds to go. 

The Rams passed in the ball and had it stolen by Maldonado, handing Wyoming its first victory in 42 days.

Reynolds finished with 17 points and four rebounds; Ethan Anderson added 13 points and five rebounds. Thompson snatched eight rebounds, while Xavier DuSell’s had five.

Colorado State’s Stevens led the Rams with 15 points, Patrick Cartier added 13 points and John Tonje finished with 12.

Next game up  

The Wyoming Cowboys travel to Las Vegas to play UNLV (12-7, 1-6) on Jan. 24. Tipoff is scheduled for 9 p.m. MST. The matchup will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network and the Cowboy Sports Network.

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