Through their first four conference games, the Cowboys have been haunted by a conspicuous trend: losing.
And whether they trail by bunches early or falter down the stretch, the result has been dishearteningly consistent.
"Sometimes you have to learn why you lose in order to learn how to win," Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer said in a press conference after losing to Air Force by two points in overtime Wednesday night.
But so far, despite the losses, Schroyer's team hasn't yet learned how to win in league competition.
Twice at home in the last two weeks the Cowboys have nursed late-game leads only to see their hopes of grabbing an elusive conference victory dashed by opponents' overtime heroics. The pattern on the road has been even more demoralizing. Against TCU on January 12, the Pokes found themselves down by 18 points less than eight minutes into the first half.
And at San Diego State on Saturday, it was déjà vu all over again.
Wyoming went more than eight minutes without scoring to open the game, and the Aztecs led by double digits for most of the night, cruising to a 70-43 rout of the Mountain West Conference's current bottom-dwellers.
The Aztecs (14-4 overall, 4-0 Mountain West Conference) were hot early, hitting their first five shots from the field and building a 19-0 lead with 11:42 to play in the first half.
The Cowboys' first points came at the 11:25-mark of the period after Brandon Ewing hit the second of two free throws. Tyson Johnson added a layup—the Pokes' first field goal of the game—less than a minute later to give Wyoming three points. After that, the team went another eight minutes without a field goal before a Joseph Taylor layup cut the SDSU lead to 31-8.
Wyoming trailed 35-13 at halftime and 49-21 midway through the second period. Ewing and Brad Jones, the Cowboys' two leading scorers this season, combined to go 0-of-15 from the field before Ewing knocked in a 3-pointer with 5:01 remaining in the second half. The duo finished the night 3-of-20.
Ryan Amoroso led the way for the Aztecs with 16 points and eight rebounds, including 12 points in the first 14 minutes when SDSU blew the game wide open. Kyle Spain added 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, and Lorrenzo Wade had 11 points, 13 rebounds and five assists.
As a team, the Aztecs shot 50 percent from the floor while out-rebounding the Pokes 39-23 and holding Wyoming to only 13 made field goals on 45 attempts (28.9 percent).
Joseph Taylor scored a team-high nine points for the Cowboys while Mikhail Linskens, who made his first career start against SDSU, finished with a career-high eight points.
The Cowboys are now 6-10 overall under first-year head coach Heath Schroyer. They have lost six of their last seven games.
They will be back on the road next Wednesday to take on Nevada-Las Vegas (13-4, 2-1) before returning home to host Colorado State (6-11, 0-3) January 26.
Aztecs Roll Past Wyoming, 70-43
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