After trailing 37-42 at the half Wyoming put up seven straight points to take the lead early in the second half but couldn't hold on as the Akron Zips ran away with a 85-76 victory Wednesday night in Laramie. The Zips (10-3) have won six in a row while Wyoming drops to 6-7 and is below .500 for the first time since December 5th.
There were seven lead changes in the second half but a 16-7 run in the final four minutes secured the victory for Akron. Wyoming remains at 299 wins at Arena Auditorium.
This was a rough and tumble game with Akron collecting 24 fouls and Wyoming 28. Djibril Thiam and Amath M'Biaye both fouled out for the Cowboys despite playing 20 or less minutes. Afam Muojeke once again led the way with 19 points and collected 11 of them at the free throw line. A.J. Davis added 18 but was only 6 of 14 from the field. Wyoming made only one of nine 3pt attempts with Ryan Dermody sinking the only basket.
Akron doesn't have any players that average double digits this year but four players accomplished that feat tonight. Brett McKnight and Humpty Hitchins both had 16 while Jimmy Conyers had a complete game with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Akron shot 49% from the field and 56% from behind the arc.
The Cowboys were without starting PG Jaydee Luster and Desmar Jackon got the start. Wyoming was 3-3 during the month of December with all three losses coming to opponents with winning records: Tennessee, Northern Iowa and Akron. The Pokes will look to start 2010 with a win on January 2nd when they host D2 Adams State.
Cowboy Joe: Didn't have a great night shooting but scored 7 straight points in the second half to give Wyoming the lead. Without his effort this would have been a huge blowout.
Cowboy Low: Desmar Jackson had the opportunity to show his stuff with Luster but five turnovers and shooting 4 for 12 was not what was needed.
Cowboy Foe: Steve McNees had 12 of his 14 points from three pointers and hit a crucial one to help break the game wide open in the second half.