Got Intensity? Schroyer Unhappy with Effort

The Cowboys put together half a period of intense basketball, which was just enough to keep them from being embarrassed by a scrappy Wisconsin-Milwaukee squad. It wasn't enough to keep head coach Heath Schroyer smiling, however, or to keep the Panthers from handing Wyoming a double-digit home loss…

For the last 10 minutes of Saturday's contest, the Cowboys played with intensity and defensive effort.

It was the other 30 minutes that ultimately doomed them.

Wisconsin-Milwaukee withstood a late second-half Wyoming run and handed the Pokes their sixth loss of the season, 80-66. Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer said his team's late rally was a case of too little, too late.

"For whatever reason, we didn't have that urgency," he said.

The Panthers (5-7 overall) led by 25 points midway through the second half before the Cowboys (5-6) put together a 37-18 run to pull within 69-63 with 2:27 remaining.

"The first 30 minutes of the game, we didn't execute offensively the way we wanted to," Schroyer said, "but the last 10 minutes, we really executed and went back and did what we were supposed to do."

It wasn't enough to stop UW-Milwaukee from handing Schroyer his first home loss of the year, however. The Panthers scored 11 of the final 14 points to put the game away.

The 14-point loss didn't inspire many positive postgame remarks, but Schroyer said his team could find relief in the timing of the defeat.

"The only saving grace is that it's better to happen now, to have this type of game, than a week from now," he said.

That's because a week from now, the Cowboys will begin Mountain West Conference competition, and they can ill afford to play a similar game against the league-leading New Mexico Lobos, winners of five straight and eight of their last 10 games.

Schroyer pointed to his team's emotion—or lack thereof—as one of the reasons for Saturday's loss.

"You have to play with pride and passion and intensity and a sense of urgency, and this team didn't do that tonight."

Another thing the Cowboys didn't do on Saturday was take care of the ball. They committed 20 turnovers, which led to 30 points for UW-Milwaukee. Wyoming shot just 45 percent from the field and put up 66 points—six points below their season average.

Brandon Ewing scored 24 points and handed out five assists for the Pokes, while Travis Nelson added 13 points in the losing cause.

For the Panthers, Paige Paulsen led the way with 26 points, hitting five three-pointers, and recorded four steals and seven rebounds.

Learning to win may take time for his young team, but Schroyer said the recent losses would be valuable learning experiences.

"We're going to continue to get better," he said. "This thing isn't going to get fixed in one day, in one month, or even one year. But we're making strides in a lot of areas."

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