SAN JOSE, Calif. -
Junior guard Josh Adams scored 20 points and senior forward Larry Nance Jr. added a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds to help the University of Wyoming men's basketball team earn a hard-fought 64-59 win at San Jose State on Saturday night in The Event Center. The Pokes (13-2, 2-0 MW) used a 15-3 run late in the second half and hit free throws down the stretch to beat the Spartans (2-12, 0-2 MW) and earn their fifth-straight victory.
"No, tonight was not the prettiest, but we knew we were going to get a heck of a shot [from San Jose State] and we did," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "It's the first time I've played against someone who holds the ball like us and takes a shot with 10 seconds left in the clock and it was quite a look."
Playing in front of a scarce crowd and in a cold arena, the Cowboys trailed by as many as eight points early in the second half. The Spartans held the advantage through the first 10 minutes of the second half, before Wyoming reeled off a 15-3 run to go in front. Adams and Nance combined for 13 of those 15 points to put the Pokes up 55-49 with four minutes left. SJSU would claw back within one, but free throws from Adams and senior guard Riley Grabau helped UW move to 2-0 in the Mountain West for the first time since 2006-07.
"I thought we did three things I was really proud of down the home stretch," Shyatt said. "A really good attack mentality on offense, which got us to the foul line, and on defense they had about 10 attempts at the end and only made one. Last, and certainly not least, free-throw shooting. It makes a big difference."
Adams' 20 points were a season high and his fifth-straight game in double figures, as he added a season-high five rebounds. Nance's second double-double this season came on 6-of-10 from the field and 6-of-7 at the free throw line for his third-straight game in double figures and team-high 11th time this season. He moved into a tie for 24th on Wyoming's all-time scoring list with Dick Sherman (1964-66) at 1,123 points, while his 13 rebounds were a season high. Senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. contributed 12 points and a game-high four assists, while Grabau finished with 10 points on a perfect 10-of-10 at the free throw line. He has converted his last 16 free-throw attempts.
As a team, Wyoming had another big night at the charity stripe, connecting on 23-of-30 attempts for 77 percent and its seventh game this season with 20 or more free throw attempts. The Spartans committed 20 fouls to a season-low three for the Pokes. UW continued to shoot well, hitting 50 percent (19-of-38) from the field, but made just 3 of its 12 three-point attempts. The Spartans shot 44 percent (24-of-54) from the field and 8-of-24 from deep. The Pokes outrebounded SJSU, 32-24, but neither bench scored a point.
Wyoming continues its season at No. 24/24 Colorado State on Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT.