In a game that wasn’t decided until the final four seconds, the Texas State men’s basketball team came up one-point shy of winning its first road game of the 2008-09 season. Wednesday night in Laramie, Wyo., the Bobcats suffered a 97-96 loss against the Cowboys at the Arena-Auditorium.Senior Brent Benson led the Bobcats with a career-high of 32 points, while senior forward Brandon Bush added his first 20-point game and first double-double performance this year with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Cameron Johnson also scored a career-best 11 points off the bench.
Wyoming countered with Brandon Ewing and Tyson Johnson netting 27 points and 22 points, respectively, while Afam Muojeke added 16. Johnson also pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.
Benson and Bush combined for eight, three-point field goals and 32 points in the first half as the Bobcats held a 50-46 lead at halftime. Texas State shot 52 percent from beyond the three-point line, making nine of its 17 three-point attempts in the opening half.
Wyoming stayed close by making 22 of its 27 free throws. Ewing made all six of his free throws and finished the opening half with 14 points. Redshirt freshman center Adam Waddell came off the Cowboy bench to score 10 points, while Johnson scored nine points and Muojeke added eight.
The Bobcats opened the second half with John Rybak hitting a three-point shot and Bush added a pair of lay-ups to give Texas State is largest lead in the game, 57-47 with 17:53 left to play.
The two teams battled back and forth for the next two minutes before Wyoming used an 8-0 run to close to within two at 63-61 after Ewing made a pair of free throws.
The Bobcats answered when Benson made one of his two free throw attempts and nailed a three-pointer to extend Texas State’s lead to 67-61.
The Cowboys outscored Texas State 7-0 during the next two minutes to take their first lead in the second half 68-67 after Ewing made a lay-up and a pair of free throws. In between, he hit Sean Ogirri for a three-point basket.
The two teams battled back and forth the rest of the way as Wyoming took a 76-74 lead after a pair of free throws by Ogirri. The Cowboys never trailed again in the game and extended their lead to 92-86 with 2:24 left to play.
The Bobcats clawed their way back into the game as Benson hit a three-point field goal with 1:28 left to play. But, Ewing made three of his four, free throw attempts to give the Cowboys a 95-91 lead with 18 seconds left to play.
The game had a heart-pounding ending as Bush hit a jumper on an assist from Benson to pull Texas State to within two at 95-93. After Ogirri made two free throws for the Cowboys, Benson nailed a three-point shot and was fouled by Muojeke. But, Benson missed his free throw, and Waddell deliberately missed both of his free throws and grabbed the offensive rebound to clinch the victory for Wyoming, who improved to 4-0 this season. Texas State fell to 2-2 on the season and will travel to Northern Colorado on Saturday in Greeley, Colo.
by Rick Poulter
University News Service