Cowboys 76, Buffs 73

Two well-matched teams traded leads through much of the game Sunday afternoon. But Wyoming came up with clutch plays in the final 23 seconds, while Colorado failed to match them. The Cowboys beat Colorado in Boulder 76-73.

You could say the CU loss came down to poor foul shooting. The Buffs went 15 of 25 from the line (60 percent) and lost by three points.

You could say Wyoming won the battle of the No. 23s, and that was the glaring difference. Cowboy sophomore guard Brandon Ewing came into the game as Wyoming's second leading scorer (21.9 ppg.). On Sunday Ewing was at times unstoppable as he poured in 29 points, including a fall-away 3-pointer with 1:31 remaining in the game.

On the other bench, CU's No. 23, junior Richard Roby, came in as the Buffs scoring leader (15.0 ppg), despite suffering through an early season slump. Roby had shot just 31.5 percent from the field in CU's first four games. Sunday, that slump continued. Roby went 5 of 16 from the field (1 of 6 from beyond the arc), and finished with 16 points. (Freshman Xavier Silas struggled offensively, as well, hitting just 3 of 12 shots).

You could say Wyoming was more aggressive on the boards, particularly in the second half. The Cowboys managed 10 offensive boards in the second frame, which led to several second-chance points.

"They seemed to dominate the offensive glass," Patton said.

Then there was a strategy that didn't work in the waning seconds. Trailing by one point, 74-73, 23 seconds remaining and two timeouts in hand, Patton let his players hurry down the floor for what could've been a go-ahead score rather than call a timeout and set up a play. But senior Dominique Coleman rushed a pass on the wing to Silas, who never got a good handle on the ball.

"We considered (calling a timeout), but it looked like we were blowing it up the floor, and were going to get an easy bucket," Patton said. "We were going to get the last shot and I didn't think they could foul at that point."

Instead, Wyoming stole the ball and guard Brad Jones evaded CU players trying to foul him for several seconds. When a Buff finally grabbed Jones' jersey with 10 seconds remaining, CU was called for an intentional foul, giving Wyoming two free throws and possession. Jones hit one of two, then Eric Platt sank one of two foul shots after he was fouled when Wyoming took the ball out of bounds.

With 8.6 remaining on the clock and trailing by three, Patton let his players make the decisions, again forgoing a timeout strategy session. Coleman had a decent look from the wing, but his 3-pointer didn't fall. By the time Roby had secured the rebound, the game was over.

"It was a good shot," said Coleman, who led CU with 18 points. "I make that shot in practice consistently. I should have made it (this afternoon). It just didn't fall."

However you analyze the game, it puts CU at 2-3 on the season, while Wyoming moves to 4-1.

Sophomore Jermyl Jackson-Wilson, who has been CU's most consistent player so far, had 16 points and 14 boards.

"I don't write off this year at all," he said after the loss. "There's a lot of time left. We've got a lot of good things to do."

NOTES
Up next for the Buffs is a road game Wednesday at 2005-06 NCAA Tournament team UNC-Wilmington. …The CU women's volleyball team learned Sunday they will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament Thursday and Friday.

Stat Leaders
Colorado
Points: Dominique Coleman 18
Rebounds: Jermyl Jackson-Wilson 14
Assists: Kal Bay 7
Turnovers: Bay 4
Blocks: Marcus King-Stockton 2
Steals: Coleman 3

Wyoming
Points: Brandon Ewing 29
Rebounds: Daaron Brown 10
Assists: Brad Jones 8
Turnovers: three tied with 3
Blocks: Joseph Taylor 2
Steals: Jones 4


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