Jan. 9, 2012
Redshirt junior guard Luke Martinez scored a career-high 23 points and two other Cowboys reached double figures to guide the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to a 73-49 win over Idaho State on Monday in the Arena-Auditorium. The hot-shooting Pokes dominated wire-to-wire on both ends of the floor to up their record to 14-2 on the season, the program's most wins ever before the start of the conference season, and notch their best start since 1950-51.
"We scored early in this game off our defense," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "Luke [Martinez] got a couple deflections as did JayDee [Luster] and Leonard [Washington]. We got some early drop offs to Leonard and Adam [Waddell] inside, and I thought that really opened things up on the perimeter for Luke and Francisco [Cruz]."
Martinez was near perfect on the night, shooting 6-of-6 from the field and 5-of-5 from deep, while going 6-of-8 at the free throw line for his 23 points. Redshirt junior forward Leonard Washington and senior center Adam Waddell both added 12 points. Washington contributed nine rebounds and three steals, while Waddell earned four rebounds and a block.
The Cowboys shot a season-high 56 percent (26-of-46) from the floor and 54 percent (6-of-11) from deep, while earning a 33-17 advantage on the boards and 13-4 in assists. ISU hit 39 percent (18-of-46) and 23 percent (3-of-13) respectively, while its 17 rebounds and four assists were season lows for a UW opponent.
"I felt like our guys really focused the last four days," Shyatt said. "We had one of our best defensive efforts all year tonight."
Wyoming was hot right from the start, as the Cowboys held Idaho State (3-13) to no baskets and three turnovers through the first three minutes. Waddell and Martinez combined for 10 of UW's first 12 points with the Cowboys earning a 15-5 lead at the five-minute mark. Three from Martinez and senior guard Francisco Cruz started a 13-4 run midway through that half that saw the Pokes extend their lead to as many as 17 at 28-11 with 9:33 left. Four-straight points from Washington and free throws from Cruz and Martinez down the stretch sent UW into the break with its largest lead of the half at 42-21.
Martinez scored 17 in the first half going 4-of-4 from the field and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, while Waddell added 10 points and four rebounds. UW shots 60 percent from the floor (15-of-25) and 57 percent (4-of-7) from deep to 42 percent (8-of-19) and no three-pointers (0-of-4). The Cowboys had a 15-7 rebounding and 7-0 assist advantage in the first half.
It was more of the Cowboys in the second half. UW grew its lead to the 30-point mark, before two monster jams from Washington and a Martinez three showed the rout was on. Washington had six points in the second half and 10 Cowboys had at least two points.
Wyoming begins Mountain West play on Saturday when the Cowboys welcome New Mexico to the Arena-Auditorium at 1:30 p.m.
"I would like Saturday to be a day when every Cowboy fan who can get here comes to the Double A and helps us open the conference season," Shyatt said. "We hope to see Cowboy fans here at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday afternoon ready to make the Arena a great atmosphere once again."