The Pokes used an 18-2 run in the second half to improve to 5-0 in the Arena-Auditorium earning a 67-60 win over Colorado Christian on Monday evening. The Cowboys held the Cougars to 29 percent from the field on the night and grabbed 51 boards on their way to the win. The Pokes improve to 6-2 on the year with the victory.
“We ended with the win at the end of the day,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said. “I told the guys that they need to prepare and I also tried to get them to understand Colorado Christian is a very good basketball team. I thought it could have been tough to guard CCU at times and I thought the guys didn’t have the energy and excitement in the first half, but we responded well in the second.”
The 51 rebounds was the first time the Cowboys have grabbed 50 or more boards since UW grabbed 56 against Houston Baptist on Dec. 29, 2008. The Cowboys headed into the game ranking third in the conference in No. 51 in the nation in field goal percentage defense holding CCU to the second-lowest field goal percentage by a UW opponent.
Junior forward Alan Herndon led the Cowboys in scoring with 15 on the night. It was his fifth-straight game in double figures. Senior guard Jason McManamen added 10 points for his sixth game in double-figures this season. Junior forward Hayden Dalton led the Pokes in rebounding with eight on the night. 11 Cowboys saw action tonight with every player grabbing at least one rebound.
The Cowboys shot 37 percent (22-of-60) from the field against the Cougars. UW hit 8-of-31 three point attempts for 26 percent. The Cowboys held the Cougars to 22 percent (6-of-27) from behind the three point line.
The Cowboys raced out to an early 10-3 lead five minutes into the contest. The run was paced by two-points from all five starters for the Cowboys. The run saw the Pokes get defensive holding the Cougars to 1-of-9 from the field during the run.
The Cougars battled back using a 7-0 run to tie the contest at 10-10. The two teams then exchanged points until CCU took their first lead on a pair of free throws from Brenden Mann and added a jumper from Brett Brady to take 20-16 lead on the Pokes.
The Cougars kept on attacking the Cowboys getting to the free throw line until the Pokes tied the game at 22-22 on a pair of three pointers, as UW opened the game going 0-10 from behind the arc. CCU hit four-straight free throws to build their largest lead at the time of four at 26-22.
The shooting woes continued for the Pokes as they went into the half trailing the Cougars by a score of 30-29. The Cowboys shot 35 percent from the field in the first half and were 3-of-16 from behind the arc for 19 percent.
The cold shooting continued into the second half for the Cowboys. The Cougars opened the stanza on a 7-0 run to open their lead to the largest of the game at 37-29. The Pokes battled back with a 10-2 run to tie the game at 39-39.
When asked about the zone defense in the second half Edwards said: “Usually when I go to a zone defense it is to use our energy. It helps us take calculated risk and it helped us turn the game allowing our guys to get some fast break buckets followed by some three pointers.”
The Pokes then added to the run finishing with an 18-2 sprint that built the UW lead to 48-39 with 10:49 remaining in the half. The Cowboys would build the lead later in the frame to 11 thanks to a jumper by Dalton. CCU made a late run, but it wasn’t enough as the Pokes took the win.
The Cougars were led in scoring by Ty McGee. He added 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead all players on the night in both categories.
“We will get what we need to get done in preparation for Montana,” Edwards said. “These six home games are critical for what we are trying to do.”
The Cowboys return to action hosting the Montana Griz on Saturday afternoon for a 4p.m. start.