Wyo4News Staff, [email protected] [GoWyo.com]
FORT COLLINS, COLORADO — The Wyoming Cowboys could not overcome the hot shooting of the Colorado State Rams falling on the road by a score of 84-71 on Friday evening in Moby Arena in Fort Collins, Colo. The Pokes and Rams split the regular season series with each team winning a game on their respective floors.
“When you allow the other team to shoot 60 percent, it’s going to be tough to win,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “But at the 7:07 mark of the second half, it’s a five-point game and we had the momentum. They (CSU) came down and shoot a shot and then they get two offensive rebounds that ends up leading to a three by them. In that stretch, they went on a 10-0 run and the game goes from five to 15 points and the game is over.”
“Maldo is a warrior and hopefully on Monday, which I know it’s tough sometimes for fans to come out on a Monday night, but I hope the Wyoming faithful come out and honor those two guys — Hunter Maldonado and Hunter Thompson,” Linder said. “They are a rare breed and they’re going to become an even rarer breed as college basketball evolves. Those two guys are loyal. We better go out dying for those two guys as a team, because in this day and age when it is easy to blame someone else, they didn’t blame anyone. They could have left. Maldo could have left to get NIL money, but that guy is loyal to the University of Wyoming and loyal to Brown and Gold. Hunter Thompson has also got the brunt of a lot of things being the Wyoming kid on our team, but that guy gave his heart and soul to the University of Wyoming. I hope and pray, as I hope and pray for my dad, that people show up on Monday and honor those guys. They deserve to be honored.”
Wyoming held the Rams scoreless for nearly four minutes and made it a 49-44 game with 13 minutes left. The Rams would push the lead to 55-46 halfway through the half. Thompson made it a six-point game with a triple, but the Rams pushed it to 59-49 with 8:57 left.
Wenzel added his third three-pointer of the game and Maldonado added an and-one play to make it a 63-58 game with 7:30 left, but Isaiah Stevens added a three-pointer seconds later to make it an eight-point game and moved to a 10-point game with six minutes left.
The Rams would go on a 10-0 run and push the contest to 73-58 with 4:10 remaining. Oden would make it a 10-point contest with an and-one play followed by a triple for a 76-66 game with 2:15 remaining, but that is as close as Wyoming would get falling 84-71.
The Rams were led by Tonje with 25 points. Stevens added a double-double with 15 points and 12 assists.
The Cowboys return to action on Monday hosting Nevada in the Arena-Auditorium in a 7 p.m. start. The contest will be Senior Night as Wyoming will honor Hunter Maldonado and Hunter Thompson prior to the game.