Pullman, Wash. (March 19, 2012) – Redshirt junior forward Leonard Washington scored 14 points and senior center Adam Waddell added 13, but the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team dropped a 61-41 game at Washington State on Monday night in the quarterfinals of the CBI presented by Zebra Pen. The Cowboys trailed by just five at halftime, but were outscored by 15 in the second half to end their 2011-12 campaign at 21-12.
“We hung on several times this year in low scoring games when we weren’t pretty on offense, but we didn’t have that opportunity tonight,” UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. “[Washington State] was too good inside. We put ourselves in position at halftime, but started the second half with three-straight misses.”
Washington reached double figures for the third-straight game on 4-of-10 from the field and 6-of-7 at the free throw line, while Waddell went 6-of-8 from the field and hit one from the charity stripe to reach double figures in all three career CBI games. Senior guard JayDee Luster handed out three assists and fellow senior guard Francisco Cruz added six rebounds.
UW shot 35 percent (16-of-45) from the field and just 12 percent (2-of-16) beyond the arc to 41 percent (18-of-43) and 25 percent (4-of-16) for WSU. The Cougars earned a 36-23 advantage in rebounds and committed 10 turnovers to 11 for the Pokes.
“We had a very poor shooting performance tonight and I think it irritated our group,” Shyatt said. “Our will to win was so great all year, but tonight it didn’t work for us against a tough, aggressive Washington State team.”
It was a defensive battle from the start, as both squads committed several turnovers but couldn’t take advantage of the extra possessions. Waddell had six of UW’s first 10 points, while the teams exchanged the lead five times through the first ten minutes. Washington State (17-16) used a quick 6-0 spurt at the eight-minute mark to go up by seven, but free throws and a layup from Washington slimmed the lead down to three with five minutes left in the half.
The Cougars went on a 9-2 run over the next four minutes to extend the lead to 10 points at 26-16, but Waddell and Washington combined for the final five points of the half to send UW into halftime down 26-21. Waddell scored 11 in the first half and Washington chipped in six points and three rebounds, but the Cowboys committed eight turnovers as a team. UW shot 40 percent (9-of-22) from the field but couldn’t connect on a three (0-of-8), while WSU hit 47 percent (10-of-21) and 28 percent (2-of-7). Both teams earned 13 rebounds.
Wyoming started the second half 1-of-8 from the field to allow Washington State to stretch the lead to 11 at 34-23 through the first four minutes. Both teams cranked down on the defensive end and Washington hit a layup to cut the advantage to single digits, but WSU earned its next six points at the free throw line extend the lead to 15 at 40-25 midway through the half.
Redshirt junior guard Luke Martinez hit UW’s first trey of the game at the 8:47 mark to get some momentum headed Wyoming’s way, and junior guard Derrious Gilmore added another three two minutes later to cut the WSU lead to 10 at 47-37. That was as close as the Cowboys would get, though, as the Cougars extended the lead over the final six minutes to pull away for the win.
Cruz, Luster, Waddell and fellow seniors Arthur Bouedo and Rob Watsabaugh played in their final game for Wyoming.