December 23, 2021 |
A rusty Wyoming team struggled off the bench, from the free throw line and from beyond the arc in Wednesday’s 66-63 loss to Stanford in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu.
The Cowboys fought hard in the second half after behind by double digits, but the 11-day layoff worked against them as they faced a tuned-up, physical Cardinal team.
The Cowboys went 7 of 13 from the free throw line while hitting only four of 23 three point shots – standout stats in a three point loss. Despite their cold shooting, the Cowboys overcame a double-digit deficit in the second to take a short-lived lead against the battle-hardened Stanford team.
The Cowboys hung in and put themselves in a position to win in the final minutes. Wyoming’s missed free throws, a bench that scored just five points and Stanford’s 16 second chance points, left the Cowboys needing a three-point miracle with eight seconds remaining to trigger overtime. The Christmas miracle didn’t happen.
After the game, Wyoming Head Coach Jeff Linder said the deciding factor in the game was the offensive rebounds — Stanford’s ability to cash in on their missed first chances.
The Cowboys were led by Graham Ike with 25 points. He was 11-18 from the field. Hunter Maldonado added 18 points along with eight rebounds. He also added eight assists in the game. Xavier DuSell added 13 points hitting three of the Pokes’ four triples on the night.
With the loss, the Cowboys will take on Northern Iowa in the consolation bracket this afternoon. The Panthers lost a two-point game to Liberty in the early game yesterday, 76-74. Coach Linder said he knows UNI well.
Wyoming and Northern Iowa tip at 4:30 today on Bigfoot 99. Pregame at 4:00 p.m.