The Wyoming Cowboys need to play angry.

In sports, you often hear about the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. Coaches and players lecture about "flushing" a loss, ejecting it from your memory and moving forward in a new day. The losses may pile up, but they won't crush you, because you approach each game like the last one never happened.

Josh Adams does not believe in this approach. After four consecutive losses, he says the Cowboys need to use those disappointments as fuel. They need to let the sting of those collapses fester, driving them to make sure the next game doesn't end with a similar feeling.

That doesn't mean playing stupid. Rather, it's playing angry -- playing possessed. At some point, the Wyoming Cowboys need to stand up and say, "Enough."

“Positivity’s a big thing, but at the same time there has to be a point where we get angry and dig in and play Cowboy basketball like we did earlier in the year," Adams said. "That has to last for 40 minutes, and it hasn’t done that the last four or five games. We have to figure that out and bring that toughness."

That isn't to say Wyoming's recent efforts have lacked enthusiasm. The Cowboys have come out focused in each game, grabbing early leads and remaining competitive through halftime. But eventually, the numbers game has gotten the best of them.

Without Larry Nance Jr. and Charles Hankerson Jr., Wyoming (17-13, 8-9) has only 10 eligible players. And in a 25-minute game, that may have been enough to win.

But in the waning stretches of 40 minutes, fresh legs have grown weary. Wyoming was outscored by 15 points in the second half at Colorado State, by 15 again at home against Boise State and by 14 in a 65-54 loss to Utah State on Wednesday.

The harsh truth is that Wyoming can blame the sordid finishes on a number of factors -- injuries, suspensions and fatigue to name a few -- but in the end, nobody cares. The Cowboys will get no sympathy from their opponents, who will continue to wear them down before gleefully delivering the knockout blow.

With one game left in conference play, Wyoming needs to reach deep inside and find its will. Sure, you're tired. Games are long, and the bench might as well be off limits.

But there's one game left. Deal with it. Find a way. Because if you don't, Colorado State won't do it for you.

“We really don’t know what’s happening, but we’re going to figure it out over these next couple days," senior guard Nathan Sobey said. "I’m banking on us getting a win against CSU. I think we’re going to find out what we have to do over this next stretch to play a lot more basketball.”

Of course, "playing angry" doesn't mean "playing out of control." It also doesn't mean projecting that anger onto your teammates. The Cowboys need to pull closer together than ever, then unleash that frustration on an unassuming group of Rams.

Adversity can either break you or make you, and Wyoming has been dealt adversity in great supply. But coach Larry Shyatt hasn't seen the team's struggles seep into the locker room.

“I was asked about our locker room the other day. It was almost a laughable question, but a fair question," Shyatt said. "There’s no better locker room in the country. I’ve been in a couple national championship locker rooms that weren’t so pleasant sometimes and really quite impersonal.

"Our guys are connected. They do care. They care about the right things."