Pokes Fall at TCU, 58-52
Feb. 1, 2012
Fort Worth, Texas -
Redshirt junior forward Leonard Washington scored 21 points, but the University of Wyoming men's basketball team dropped a 58-52 Mountain West game to TCU on Wednesday night in Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. The Cowboys (17-5, 3-3) went back and forth with the Horned Frogs (13-8, 3-3) all night, but ultimately couldn't hit shots down the stretch to keep pace.
"With a minute to go it was a two possession game, but we couldn't come up with a big play," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We put ourselves in a good position, but we couldn't finish the job. We've won a couple big games this season by knocking in some big shots but couldn't do it tonight."
With UW down 11 midway through the second half, Washington and senior center Adam Waddell combined for a 9-0 Cowboy spurt that included a trey from Washington and dunk from Waddell to draw Wyoming within two at 49-47 with 6:29 to go. That would be as close at UW would get, though, as TCU quickly went back up eight with a timely three and held on down the stretch thanks to missed shots from the Cowboys.
"We got down 11 and fought our way back, but we just had too many unforced errors tonight," Shyatt said. "We helped another team with foolish turnovers. A lot of our turnovers were fostered by plays we tried to make. You can't do that at home and can't do that on the road."
Washington's 21 points came on 8-of-10 from the field, 4-of-6 from the free throw line and 1-of-1 from deep, while he added six rebounds and two assists. Waddell scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds to go with two blocks, as the duo helped Wyoming earn a 26-24 advantage in the paint. TCU outrebounded the Cowboys 30-29 and had a 20-0 margin in bench points. Senior guard Francisco Cruz rounded out UW's double-digit scorers at 10 points.
"We got the ball to Adam [Waddell] and Leonard [Washington] in good positions tonight and they finished for us," Shyatt said. "I can't fault the effort of this team, but tonight it was TCU just making a couple of baskets at the end of the game."
Wyoming shot 41 percent (20-of-48) from the field for the game, including 30 percent (7-of-23) in the second half, and 26 percent (5-of-19) from beyond the arc. TCU connected on 45 percent (21-of-46) and 37 percent (6-of-16).
It was a game of runs through the first half. The Cowboys jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead with the inside game and capped it with a three from redshirt junior guard Luke Martinez, but TCU responded with an 11-2 spurt to go up 11-8 with 12:29 left. The Pokes once again went inside with back-to-back layups from Washington and one from Waddell to retake the lead, 17-13, at the midway point, before the Horned Frogs clawed back in front again.
The squads exchanged threes, but TCU made 5-of-6 free throws over the next two minutes to go up by four. The Horned Frogs extended the lead to as many as five down the stretch, before Waddell and Washington combined for UW's next four baskets to pull within 31-30. TCU scored the final four points of the half, however, to take a 35-30 advantage into halftime.
Washington earned 10 points in the first half, but only played 11 minutes with two fouls, while Waddell added nine points and four rebounds. Both teams shot well in the first half, as the Cowboys connected 52 percent (13-of-25) from the field and 30 percent (3-of-10) from deep to 57 percent (12-of-21) and 50 percent (4-of-8) for TCU. UW had a 10-7 advantage in assists and 13-9 in rebounds, including six offensive boards by the Cowboys.
Both teams followed with more spurts in the second half. UW once again opened the half with a 6-0 run over the first four minutes to retake the lead at 36-35, but TCU would craft a 14-2 run of its own to take an 11-point advantage at 49-38. The Cowboys hit one basket over the eight-minute run by the Horned Frogs.
Washington hit a big three to bring Wyoming back to life, as he would combined with Waddell for UW's next nine points to come within 49-47 with 6:29 left. That would be as close as the Cowboys would get, though, as TCU quickly extended the lead back to eight and held on down the stretch for the win.
Wyoming returns home to face No. 11/13 UNLV in the Arena-Auditorium at 2 p.m. on Saturday.