One and Done: Pokes lose play-in game to Rams

The Rams picked a good time to get their first conference victory. And unfortunately for Wyoming fans, the Cowboys' regular season sweep of the "Border War" series doesn't change the score of the play-in game.

Colorado State waited more than two months to win its first Mountain West Conference game.

It couldn't have come at a worse time for Wyoming.

Marcus Walker scored 22 points and dished out five assists, and CSU overcame a 7-point second-half deficit to beat Wyoming 68-63 in the MWC tournament's play-in game on Wednesday.

CSU advances to play top-seeded BYU in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Meanwhile, the Cowboys will be headed home a bit earlier than they would have liked.

The Rams finished the regular season 0-16 in league play and hadn't won a basketball game since Dec. 29 when they beat Western State 87-47.

The Cowboys swept the regular season series with CSU and led throughout much of Wednesday's game.

A 3-pointer from Joseph Taylor with 14:33 remaining capped a 10-4 Wyoming run that gave the Cowboys their biggest lead of the game at 46-39. Walker answered by scoring a layup and handing out four assists over the next eight minutes of play as the Rams used a 17-4 run to take a 56-50 lead with less than seven minutes remaining.

Brandon Ewing scored six points over the next five and half minutes of play to help Wyoming cut CSU's lead to 64-63 with just more than a minute remaining in the game. Ewing lost the ball on what would have been a go-ahead layup with 34 seconds left, however, and Walker and Willis Gardner hit four free throws in the closing moments to seal the win.

Ewing finished with a season-high 29 points and shot a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line to lead Wyoming. Brad Jones chipped in 10 points for the Cowboys.

Andre McFarland had 18 points, including four 3-pointers for the Rams, and Adam Nigon added 10 points, all in the second half.

With the loss, the Cowboys closed out the 2007-08 season with a 12-18 overall record, failing to advance to at least the semifinals of the MWC tournament for the first time since 2005. Wyoming is now 6-9 in MWC tournament play.

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