The trip South of the Border didn't work out well for the Cowboys in terms of the win-loss record but they did play some of their best team ball this year. The Cowboys dropped to 2-4 on the year after losing to the Providence Friars (5-1) 84-77 in the third place game of the Cancun Challenge. The tournament consisted of four games and the Pokes finished with a 1-3 record.
This was high scoring game with little defense played by either side. Baskets came quickly and plenty points were piled up in the second half. Vincent Council uncorked a career best 29 point effort to lead the Friars to the victory, he went a perfect 16 for 16 from the free throw line. The Cowboy defense just couldn't keep Council contained and he attacked the basket regularly.
Wyoming had a fantastic night shooting by hitting 53% of their shots from the field and going 15 of 17 from the free throw line. The night before against Missouri the Pokes struggled in both categories so it was nice to see them bounce back. It's tough to hit so many shots and still come away empty handed.
I'm always worried about playing any basketball school from the East Coast, especially one like Providence that plays in the Big East. They eat, drink and sleep hoops and always have plenty of talent.
A trio of Pokes had big games: Desmar Jackson had 21 points and Amath M'Baye and Djibril Thiam each added 19 a piece. M'Baye has had his two biggest point totals of his career over the last two games. DJack also had 8 rebounds before fouling out. Thiam has been bringing great energy while coming off the bench the last three games. I would love for him to keep his sixth man role and lead the second unit.
While those three players had great games the rest of the Pokes had off nights. No other Cowboy had more than five points and hit more than one shot from the field. Three point shooting woes also continued by hitting just 4 of 16. Against Division 1 opponents the Pokes have not figured out a way to get in a rhythm from long range.
The Cowboys will head home for Thanksiving and have a much needed week off. The team has played six games in less than two weeks and travel outside the country for a tournament. On Wednesday December 1st the Pokes to South Dakota to face the Coyotes.
Cowboy Joe: Have to give the nod to Thiam on this one since he shot 8 of 11 from the field and stayed out of foul trouble unlike Jackson.
Cowboy Low: JayDee Luster missed the previous game due to food poisoning. He wasn't much help in the lineup fouling out in 13 minutes and contributing just two points.
Cowboy Foe: Vincent Council nearly put 30 points, he was filthy for the Friars.