During the tipoff marathon earlier this week Colorado put forth one of the better second half performances of the event, going on a 24-0 run to turn a close game against Auburn into a rout they would win by the final score of 90-59. For some that display meant that Tad Boyle’s team, which was already receiving votes in both Top 25 polls, were only a win at Wyoming away from becoming a ranked team for the first time this season.
However that task is one easier said than done for Colorado, as they last won a game in Laramie back in 1996. And that will remain the case for the time being, as the Buffaloes could only muster nine second-half points in their 56-33 loss to Larry Shyatt’s Cowboys.
Josh Adams, who scored the first eight points of the second half, scored a game-high 14 points (and tallied seven assists) and Charles Hankerson Jr. and Larry Nance Jr. added ten apiece to lead the way offensively for Wyoming. Wyoming, whose ball movement and spacing was solid throughout the game, shot nearly 58 percent from the field in the second half and all eleven of their second-half field goals were assisted.
For the game, all 22 of Wyoming’s field goals were assisted and they committed just eight turnovers. So while the point total may not look good, the Cowboys were incredibly efficient on that end of the floor.
By comparison Colorado shot just 27.9% from the field, with Xavier Johnson leading the way with nine points. And while the 12 turnovers Colorado may not seem like much, keep in mind two things: they only had six assists, and more importantly Wyoming converted those turnovers into 22 points (plus-18 margin in points off turnovers). Freshman point guard Dominique Collier made his debut in a Colorado uniform, and the expectation is that he will help them when it comes to solidifying that position.
The Buffaloes have plenty of work to do on the offensive end of the floor, and their consistency in getting the ball inside (ten points in the paint) is one of the areas Colorado needs to address in the days and weeks to come. They’ll be better, as will Wyoming. And in a game that was expected by many to be a highly competitive affair, Larry Shyatt’s Cowboys took control in the second half and didn’t look back.