This year's "Border War" series is looking more and more like a preview of the Mountain West Conference tournament's play-in game.
And if the regular season means anything, that doesn't bode well for the Rams.
Joseph Taylor scored a career-high 21 points, and Tyson Johnson added 17 to help lead Wyoming to a 77-67 victory over Colorado State Wednesday night.
The Cowboys, who currently sit in eighth place in the MWC with a 4-10 record (two and a half games behind TCU for the seventh spot and three and a half up on ninth-place CSU) overcame a 17-point first-half deficit to sweep the season series against the Rams, who remain winless in league play (0-13).
CSU led by 13 points with 17:10 remaining before a pair of reverse layups from Taylor and Johnson sparked a 19-6 Wyoming run that tied the score at 47 midway through the second half. Eric Platt's 3-pointer at the 8:15 mark gave the Pokes their first lead of the game since jumping ahead 2-0 in the opening minute.
The Rams stuck around; Marcus Walker hit a 3-pointer to tie the score at 52 with 7:19 to play, and Josh Simmons' free throw with just more than five minutes remaining pulled CSU within 56-55. That was as close as the Rams would get, however. Brandon Ewing hit a pair of free throws moments later to push the lead back to three points, and Taylor hit two more buckets to highlight an 8-0 Wyoming run that sealed the win.
Taylor finished 8-of-10 from the field and added nine rebounds to his career-high point total. Ewing chipped in 10 points and grabbed 10 boards for the Pokes, and Ryan Dermody scored 13 points.
Willis Gardner led the Rams with 16 points. Stuart Creason had 15, Walker had 14 and Simmons finished with 10.
Taylor scored six straight Wyoming points, including a rim-rocking tomahawk slam in traffic, to help keep things close early in the game, but Creason converted a pair of unanswered three-point plays to spark a 13-0 run that gave the Rams a 29-12 lead with 7:07 left in the first half.
Wyoming clawed its way back, scoring 14 of the period's final 15 points, including 11 combined from Johnson and Taylor, to pull within 32-28 at the break.
The Pokes will return to Laramie on Saturday to face Utah, one of only two other teams besides CSU to lose to Wyoming in MWC play this year.
Taylor's Career Night Lifts Pokes Past CSU
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