El Paso, Texas (Dec. 21, 2018) – The Wyoming Cowboys, hindered by cold shooting and turnovers in the first half, fell to East Tennessee State 76-53 in the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational opener Friday evening in El Paso, Texas. With the loss, Wyoming falls to 3-8 overall with the Buccaneers moving to 9-4 overall.
The Pokes struggled offensively to open the game, as Wyoming went 0-of-9 from the field to open the game. Junior Jake Hendricks hit the first field goal of the game, a three pointer at the 10:31 mark of the frame. ETSU forced nine turnovers to that point of the ball game.
The Buccaneers continued to control play in the opening half taking a 43-11 lead into the break.
The Pokes Hunter Thompson came out hot in the second half hitting four three pointers to fuel a 13-2 run to cut the lead to 45-24 game in the opening three plus minutes. Eventually the Cowboys would trim the 32-point deficit to just 11 pints with just over five minutes to play in the game, but East Tennessee would close out the game on a run of their own for the final 23 point win.
The Pokes were led in scoring by Thompson’s career-high 25 points, all which came in the second half. He went 7-of-8 from behind the arc. Senior Justin James added eight points, as he did not reach double-figures for the first time this season.
The Cowboys will wrap up play at the Don Haskins Sun Bowl Invitational today when they play the tournament host team UTEP at 5:00 p.m. UTEP lost to Norfolk State 75-62 in the other opening round game. That game will be broadcast on WyoRadio’s 99.7 JACK-FM beginning at 4:30 p.m. and streamed at 99KSIT.com.