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Pokes Drop MW Contest at San Diego State

Senior guard Derrious Gilmore scored 15 points, but the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team dropped a 79-51 Mountain West game to San Diego State on Tuesday night in Viejas Arena. The Aztecs (19-78, 7-5 MW) used a 23-1 run in the first half to take control and led by as much as 31 late in the second half to hand the Pokes (18-8, 4-8 MW) their worst loss of the season.

“Obviously tonight was a large disappointment,” UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. “Compliments to San Diego State. They ran themselves better tonight than I saw them on tape at all this season. They are a pretty well-oiled machine here when they are hitting shots. They beat us in every way shape or form tonight and we were never able to dig in on defense.”

Gilmore scored in double figures for the four-consecutive game and 18th time this season, while sophomore center Matt Sellers added a career-high 10 points in nine minutes. Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr., who played with flu-like symptoms and received an IV before the game, scored four points. Senior forward Leonard Washington missed his first game of the season with an ankle injury.

“I thought Matt [Sellers] and Austin [Haldorson] played really well in the second half tonight,” Shatt said. “I know it is tough to continue to work hard when you are getting bombed pretty well like we were, but I didn’t think we ever let up or quit trying. Sometimes you just get beat.”

Wyoming shot just 37 percent (20-of-53) from the field and 25 percent (4-of-16) from beyond the arc, while SDSU hit 68 percent (30-of-44), its highest total since 2006, and 50 percent (6-of-12), respectively. The Aztecs outrebounded Wyoming 35-16 and earned a 17-12 advantage in assists and 8-2 in blocks.

The Pokes hung around through the first six minutes of the game, but a 23-1 SDSU run from the 15-minute mark to the six-minute mark put the Aztecs well in control. Wyoming started 2-of-5 from the field, but missed its next nine shots to go more than 10 minutes without a field goal. Freshman forward Austin Haldorson broke the spurt with a three, but the Pokes managed just 17 percent (4-of-24) from the field and 13 percent (1-of-8) beyond the arc in the first half. SDSU hit an impressive 68 percent (15-of-22) and 50 percent (2-of-4), respectively, while outrebounding UW 21-6.

The Cowboys found their offense in the second half with 38 points and an improved 55 percent (16-of-29) from the field, but couldn’t keep the Aztecs off the board enough to close the gap. SDSU extended the lead to as many as 31 late in the half. Sellers scored 10 points in the half.

Wyoming returns home to host UNLV on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

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