Cowboys Take Down #5 Aztecs, 68-62
In a thriller at the Arena-Auditorium, the Wyoming Cowboys knocked off a top-5 ranked opponent for the first time in 16 years Tuesday night. The Pokes toppled the #5 San Diego State Aztecs by a final of 68-62.
Wyoming (15-9, 6-5) took the lead for good with nine minutes left in the first half and withstood a late second half rally by the Aztecs.
This is the second time under head coach Larry Shyatt that the Pokes have defeated a #5-ranked team. It came almost 16 years to the day. The last time was February 12, 1998 against Utah. The score of that game was 62-56, so the same six-point margin of victory.
Riley Grabau scored 17 points and Larry Nance, Jr. added 14 points to lead the way in the upset. The Cowboys shot nearly 58 percent from the field and held SDSU to only 37.9 percent from the floor.
A pair of Jerron Granberry free throws put the Pokes ahead 52-36 with 8:10 left. San Diego State came roaring back with a 12-2 run that cut the lead to 52-44 at the 6:19 mark. A couple of 3-pointers and baskets off offensive rebounds helped the Aztecs trim the Wyoming lead to 62-57 with 1:41 remaining.
After two free throws by Grabau, UW turned it over, and SDSU capitalized to get within 64-60. Nathan Sobey broke free against the press and got a key dunk for a 66-60 advantage. Despite converting only two of their final six free throws, the Cowboys forced the Aztecs to miss four out of their final five shots from the field and held on for the six-point victory.
San Diego State had five players score in double figures and was led by Dwayne Polee II with 15 points off the bench. They did out-rebound the Pokes 38-25, which led to 26 second chance points for the Aztecs.
The first half saw SDSU get up seven early, but Wyoming hit six of eight field goals and took the lead for good on a Nance offensive put-back with nine minutes left in the first half. UW led 32-23 at half.
The Wyoming Cowboys are back in action at San Jose State on Saturday, February 15. The game will start at 3 p.m., Mountain time.