Cowboys Fall to Dayton in Windy City, 66-49

This year's Cowboys are the first UW Men's Basketball to win at least four of its first five...
This year's Cowboys are the first UW Men's Basketball to win at least four of its first five games since the 2017-2018 season.(Tyler Davis, UW AthMarketing)
Published: Dec. 17, 2022 at 10:32 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Press Release) - The Wyoming Cowboys could not ground the Dayton Flyers in a 66-49 loss on Saturday evening in the United Center in Chicago. Wyoming cut a 17-point first half deficit to two points in the second period of action but could complete the comeback effort against one of nation’s top defensive units.

“It was good for us to play against a tough opponent and crowd was good for us,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said.  “We were on our heels, and it is hard against a team like that to spot them points. We had it to a one score game and in those middle rounds we fell. They forced our guys to make plays and took away the three-point line. We need to be better from an execution standpoint.”

The Pokes were held to a season-low 35 percent from the field on the night with the Flyers shooting 58 percent. Dayton held a 33-24 advantage on the glass for the night and used 32 points in the paint on the night. Wyoming recorded only nine turnovers in the game for the third-straight game with under 10 miscues.

The Cowboys were led by Illinois native Noah Reynolds who was playing in front of 30 family and friends adding 20 points. It marked his fourth-straight game with 20 or more points. Hunter Thompson added 14 points for his third game in double-figures this season.

After Hunter Maldonado opened the game with a pair of free throws, the Flyers would go on an 8-0 run to take the advantage in the opening three minutes of play. Thompson stopped the run with free throws for an 8-4 contest with 16:47 left in the first frame.

The Pokes would cut the flyer lead to two points, but a 15-0 run from Dayton made it a 25-8 game halfway through the first half. Wyoming went scoreless for over six minutes during the Surge by the Flyers. Thompson would later hit a bucket as time expired on the shot clock for a 26-13 game for Dayton with eight minutes left in the half.

Thompson and Noah Reynolds helped make it a nine-point game at 27-18 with five minutes left in the half. The Flyers pushed the contest to a 33-21 game making three straight shots with two minutes left in the opening 20 minutes. Dayton would take a 35-21 lead into the half shooting 62 percent from the field.

Reynolds went on a 9-0 run to open the second half and make it a 35-30 game for the Flyers in the opening three-plus minutes of the second half. He would make it a two-point game at 37-35 with a triple and jumper with 14:33 left in the contest.

DaRon Holmes II of Dayton used a pair of slams to make it a six-point game at 51-35 around the 13-minute mark of the half. The Pokes would go scoreless for nearly three minutes and the flyers would build the lead to 11-points at 48-37 halfway through the half.

Thompson and Reynolds joined forces again to make it a six-point contest at 48-42 with under nine minutes left, but a three-pointer by the Flyers made it a 51-42 game seconds later. Holmes II put pressure on the rim again and helped the lead grow back to 11-points for the Flyers at 57-46 with under five minutes left.

The Cowboy offense would struggle from the field late, and Dayton would use a late run to take the contest 66-49

The Flyers were led by Holes II with 24 points on the night going 10-of-15 from the field.

The Pokes wrap up non-conference play next Wednesday facing Saint Mary’s at the Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.