Your Source For Local and Regional News



Featured Sports Wyoming

Bulldogs Rally Past Cowboys in Mountain West Conference Tournament First Round

Akuel Kot led the Cowboys with 23 points but it was not enough as the Bulldogs moved on in the bracket. (MANDATORY PHOTO CREDIT – TROY BABBITT – UW ATHLETICS)


Provided by the University of Wyoming – 

• Wyoming Concludes Season at 15-17

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (March 13, 2024) – The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team dropped its first round Mountain West Conference Tournament game Wednesday. No. 9-seeded Fresno State rallied for a 77-73 victory over the No. 8-seeded Pokes inside the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Bulldogs advance to the quarterfinals where they’ll face top-seeded Utah State on Thursday at 1 p.m. Wyoming finishes the year at 15-17 overall.

Akuel Kot paced the Pokes, pouring in 23 points. Sam Griffin added 19 points and six assists, while Brendan Wenzel chipped in 15 points. Mason Walters led the way on the glass with nine rebounds to go alongside his seven points.

Isaiah Pope led Fresno State with 22 points. Donavan Yap Jr. came off the bench to score 16 points.

The Bulldogs closed the game on a 12-1 run. Wyoming owned a 72-65 advantage with 3:20 to play in the game after Wenzel buried a 3-pointer, however, only managed one free throw from Kael Combs from then on out.

The Pokes recorded a pair of threes early in the contest to take a 6-5 lead in the opening two-plus minutes. A turnover by the Bulldogs led to a triple from Kot for a 12-7 lead at the 15:16 mark of the opening frame.

Wyoming went scoreless for over two and a half minutes with Fresno State making it a 12-9 contest. Wyoming went on a 5-0 run and took a 17-9 lead off a triple from Kael Combs with 12:03 left in the half. Fresno State would battle and make it a 20-18 game for the Cowboys with under eight minutes left in the half.

The Bulldogs would hit four-straight buckets and make it a 25-24 game for Wyoming with just over five minutes left in the half. Griffin took over to fuel a 7-0 run for a 32-24 lead with under four minutes left in the opening half. Kot made it a 10-point game, but State answered back for a 40-33 lead for Wyoming at the break.

Fresno State would break into the Cowboy lead early in the second half, but the Pokes would push the lead back to seven points until a pair of free throws and layup from Donovan Yap made it a 44-41 game for UW with 16 minutes left. Fresno State would make it a one-point game a minute later.

The Bulldogs held the Pokes scoreless for over three-minutes and take a lead until Griffin hit a three for a 47-45 game with under 14 minutes left. Fresno State tied the game at the line with under 13 minutes left and took the lead a minute later.

The teams traded leads for the next several minutes until Wyoming went on a 10-0 run fueled by Griffin and Wenzel to take a 67-58 lead with 5:50 left in the game. Fresno State would push the contest four-point game with under four-minutes left on a three-pointer.


Team Notes

•The Cowboys are now 16-24 all-time in the MW Championship.

•The Cowboys are 2-4 all-time in the MW Tournament under head coach Jeff Linder.

•The Cowboys are 17-23 all-time against Fresno State.

•The Cowboys are 0-2 all-time against the Bulldogs on neutral floors.

•The Cowboys hit 12 threes for back-to-back games with 10 or more threes. Wyoming has done that seven times this season.


Player Notes

•Guard Sam Griffin recorded 19 points for his 27th game in double-figures. He has 13 points at the half.

•Guard Akuel Kot recorded 23 points for his 25th game in double-figures. He led the team with 14 first half points.

•Kot recorded his eighth game with 20 or more points this season.

•Mason Walters recorded nine rebounds for his fourth game with seven or more rebounds in his last five contests.

•Brendan Wenzel recorded 15 points for his 18th game this season and 31st of his career.

Let us know what you think!