Nance and Cooke Power Cowboys Past Rams, 59-48

Feb. 4, 2015


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Senior forwards Larry Nance Jr. and Derek Cooke Jr. each posted double-doubles for a second-straight game to help the University of Wyoming men's basketball team claim a dominant 59-48 Border War win over RV/RV Colorado State on Wednesday night in the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes (19-4, 8-2 MW) never trailed and led the Rams (19-4, 6-4 MW) by as many as 16 en route to their first season sweep of CSU since 2008-09.

"The way I would categorize our performance tonight was the essence of team -- we were as good a team tonight as I've seen," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We got something from everybody. There were some who didn't have great offensive nights, but they turned it up on defense. I thought every player who participated for us helped in this win."

The Cowboys earned a 26-15 advantage at halftime and extended it to 16 points at 44-28 midway through the second half, as the Rams couldn't find their shot to become the ninth foe UW has held below 50 points this season. CSU hit a season-low 30 percent (18-of-60) from the field and just 12 percent (3-of-25) beyond the arc, while Wyoming hit 40 percent (19-of-48) and 42 percent (8-of-19), respectively, its highest percentage from deep during MW play this season. The Pokes outrebounded the Rams, 40-39, but gave up a 26-16 advantage in points in the paint.

"We have been fortunate that they [Colorado State] have not shot the three ball well against us in the two games this year," Shyatt said. "I'd like to think we had something to do with it, but then again they've shot the ball really well during this last stretch of games in conference play. I know this is a team (CSU) that gets better and better each week, so kudos to our players because I think we have improved, as well, and we got really good performances from our freshmen."

Nance's fifth double-double of the Mountain West season came courtesy of 19 points, 10 rebounds, four blocks and three steals. He was 7-of-15 from the field, 2-of-3 from deep and 3-of-3 at the free throw line. His three steals moved him to sixth in school history with 137. Cooke added 12 points, 11 rebounds and two assists, including a 6-of-10 showing at the charity stripe. Senior guard Riley Grabau contributed 10 points on 2-of-2 from three and 4-of-4 in free throws.

Wednesday's crowd of 8,672 was UW's fourth of more than 8,000 in the Arena this season and featured 2,203 students. Wyoming's average home attendance of 6,240 this season is its highest since 2004-05.

"I can't say enough about the crowd," Shyatt said. "We had 2,200 students, and I can't tell you how thrilled I am just for that piece. It was more or less a dream 3 1/2 years ago -- could we get the atmosphere back to where we once were. Boy oh boy, we needed them and the fans were great tonight."

Wyoming next travels to Air Force on Saturday for a noon MT game in Clune Arena.