Cowboys Squeak Past Southern, 67-60
Wyoming finished the Global Sports Hoops Showcase perfect by beating Southern 67-60 on Friday night in Laramie. UW had four players score in double digits and shot 90.9 percent at the free throw line to seal the game. A game-ending 19-4 run clinched the tournament title for the Cowboys.
Southern's 15-2 run over a 5-minute span of the second half helped the Jags take a 46-38 advantage with 10:22 to go. Leonard Washington found his way to foul line, hitting 6-of-7 from the charity stripe in a three minute stretch to help the Pokes close the gap. It wasn't until Luke Martinez hit his first 3-pointer that Wyoming was able to tie the game at 56 with just under four minutes left. UW buckled down on defense and hit 8-of-8 free throws in the final three minutes to move to 4-0 on the season.
Head Coach Larry Shyatt was relieved, to say the least. He shared what he told the team, saying, "I thought they took the game and won the game the last 4 minutes, and for that we should enjoy the evening. I also told them that the effort and enthusiasm we lacked for a good 25 minutes, you don't want to learn lessons the tough way. I would've done anything to have this end like this, if we could at the end of the day say, we did learn a lesson."
The Cowboys struggled in the first half. They didn't make a field goal until almost eight minutes into the game. They also missed their first nine 3-point attempts. Wyoming finally got a boost in the last six minutes when Derrious Gilmore hit three straight 3-pointers. After 7 lead changes in the last five minutes, UW held a 29-28 edge at half.
Wyoming was led by Washington, the tournament MVP, with 17 points and 8 rebounds. Larry Nance, Jr recorded his first career double-double with 12 points and 12 boards while Gilmore also had 12 points and Martinez added 11. The Cowboys shot 40.0 percent (20/50) from the field and 26.9 percent (7/26) from beyond the arc while hitting 20-of-22 free throws.
Nance, Jr. said it was just a team effort, "It was really Leonard (Washington) that gathered us all together and just said hey, we talk about this all the time at practice, facing adversity, and we did it. We definitely took on what they had to offer and got through it."
Southern shot 46.8 percent (22/47) from the field and 47.6 percent (10/21) from 3-point range, but hit only 54.5 percent (6/11) of the free throws. Wyoming forced 12 turnovers from the Jaguars and out-rebounded them 67-60.
UW will have their first game on the road at Northern Colorado on Wednesday, Nov. 21st at 7 p.m. with coverage starting on Y95 Country at 6:30 p.m.