Junior forward Hayden Dalton led the Pokes with 27 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season as Wyoming cruised past Cornell 97-78 on Saturday afternoon in the Arena-Auditorium. Dalton was joined by four other Cowboys that tied or set career-highs, as the Pokes move to 8-2 on the season and have won five-straight games.
“I’m always talking to our guys about being assertive and unselfish on the offensive end of the floor,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said. “Because of our numbers and skill set that makes our team very tough offensively. When our big guys play like Hayden (Dalton) did today we are very difficult to defend.”
Dalton poured in 21 points in the first half making him the first Cowboy to score 20 points in the opening half since Josh Adams scored 20 against Boise State in the semifinals of the 2015 MW Tournament. The Pokes scored 56 points in the first half the most since scoring 56 against Arkansas State on Nov. 16, 2013.
Junior guard Louis Adams added a career-high 24 points for the Pokes. He hit a career-high three triples in his first 20 point scoring game of his career. Redshirt freshman guard Cody Kelley added eight points for his third-straight Saturday game with a career-high eight points. Senior guard Morris Marshall added a career-high seven points and redshirt freshman Sam Averbuck scored a career-high two points.
“I thought one of the things we talked about before the game was to get guys in and out of the game,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said. “It was an opportunity to rest some of our guys and prepare opportunities for other players.”
Senior guard Jason McManamen added 15 points, he had three triples on the day going over 150 in his career and also added two three point plays. Junior forward Jonathan Barnes grabbed a career-high six rebounds. Junior forward Alan Herndon added 12 points, as he has scored in double-figures in seven straight games.
The Pokes shot 47 percent (32-of-68) from the field and held the Big Red to 43 percent (26-of-60) from the floor. The Cowboys shot 44 percent (12-of-27) from the three point line. UW also owned the glass out rebounding Cornell 42-33. Wyoming scored a season-high 40 points in the paint.
“I thought one of the things we tried to do was make it an up tempo game,” Edwards said. “We did a great job defending and communicating that helped us shut down some of their top players.”
The Pokes raced out to a 12-4 lead four minutes into the contest. Dalton and McManamen led the way each pouring in six points. Dalton did his damage in the paint with McManamen hitting a pair of three pointers.
Dalton kept the offense going opening up the game a perfect 5-of-5 from the field to give UW an 18-11 lead, but the Big Red rallied back into the game to cut the UW lead to as little as three at 18-15, as the rally was stopped by a coast-to-coast three point play by McManamen.
McManamen and Dalton combined for the first 21 points for the Cowboys. Herndon then got into the scoring adding six points to help build a 15 point lead for the Pokes at 36-21 with 4:56 left in the opening frame.
Adams then got the scoring buzz and added seven-straight points to give the Pokes a 43-21 lead. The Cowboys held the Big Red without a point for nearly five minutes during the run. The Pokes ended the half with a 56-28 lead, on a 31-8 run.
The Big Red got out to a quick start in the first half outscoring the Pokes early in the frame, but a 6-2 run led by Dalton helped the Pokes rebuild their sizeable lead. Cornell, led by leading scoring Matt Morgan used an 8-0 run to cut into the Pokes lead at 73-50 with 12:30 left in the second half.
A 13-8 run by the Pokes led by a pair of threes by Adams helped the Pokes build an 83-58 lead with under 10 minutes in the half. The Cowboys continued to put pressure on the Big Red in the frame on their way to the 97-78 win.
Cornell was strong from the field in the second stanza shooting 57 percent (16-of-28). They also outscored the Pokes 50-41 in the second half.
The Big Red was led in scoring by forward Stone Gettings, as he added 23 points and six rebounds. Guard Troy Whiteside added 17 points on the night.
The Pokes return to action on Monday night hosting Troy in the second round of campus games of the Las Vegas Classic.