University of Wyoming’s Arena-Auditorium has been nicknamed the “Dome of Doom,” due its hostile atmosphere. That nickname stayed true Saturday evening, as the Cowboys remained undefeated at home, defeating CSU 83-74 in front of 7,014 fans in Laramie, Wyo.
The story of the game was easily the free throw shooting by the Cowboys (13-6, 2-3 MWC) as they went 28-34 (82 percent) from the charity stripe, which was even better than their season average of 74 percent.
CSU head coach Tim Miles said he believed a lot of the Rams’ problems Saturday were due to the environment.
“I just don’t think we understood the effort it was going to take to come out and compete and win in this environment, and a lot of that is inexperience,” said Miles. “We started a freshman, three sophomores and a senior.”
While inexperience was a factor in the game, freshman guard Jesse Carr topped his career-high set on Tuesday against Air Force with 21 points, and sophomore Travis Franklin was one point shy of his with 17 points.
The Rams (7-13, 2-4) held a one point lead at the 15:53 mark, 13-12, but Wyoming responded immediately following the media timeout and never looked back thanks in large part to Cowboy freshman forward Afam Muojeke. Muojeke led all scorers with 25 points, five rebounds and four assists.
“They had a couple guys step up, Muojeke and Ewing and also Djibril (Thiam),” Carr said after the game. “(Muojeke) is a good player and had a good game, and tonight, Wyoming was hitting their shots.”
For the second straight game CSU was without senior guard Marcus Walker and junior forward Harvey Perry. Ram sophomore forward Andy Ogide said it can be hard playing without a team’s top scorer.
“Yea it is hard to get used to,” Ogide said about the team having to play without Perry or Walker. “But we should be used to it, we’ve started over about six times already with different offenses, but that definitely hurts.”
CSU will regroup at practice this week before they head to New Mexico on Wednesday to face the Lobos at “The Pit.”
Men’s basketball beat writer Matt L. Stephens can be reached at email@example.com.