Nov. 5, 2011
Senior guard Francisco Cruz notched a game-high 29 points and three other Cowboys scored in double figures to lead the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to an 85-78 exhibition win over Colorado State University-Pueblo on Saturday night. More than 4,897 fans in the Arena-Auditorium saw UW get off to a slow start, but rebound to maintain a comfortable lead the majority of the second half.
"We did some good things offensively, but we were probably a little too unselfish and made too many interior passes," Shyatt said. "I think we have the potential to shoot the ball really well if we get the right guys shots."
Cruz's night came courtesy of an 11-of-14 shooting performance from the field, including going 5-of-6 behind the arc, while adding six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Junior forward Leonard Washington contributed 17 points, while junior guard Luke Martinez added 13 and senior center Adam Waddell had 12. Washington and Waddell both had a team-high eight rebounds.
"Paco (Francisco Cruz) scored the ball well tonight," Shyatt said. "He had a great game on the perimeter, and made some nice passes on the interior. We have to learn how to use him better on the defensive end."
As a team, the Cowboys shot 51 percent (26-of-51) for the game and made 37 percent (11-of-29) of their three-point attempts. The Thunderwolves hit 50 percent (24-of-48) and 47 percent (10-of-21) from three. UW outrebounded CSUP 35-23, but committed 18 turnovers to 17 for the Thunderwolves.
CSU-Pueblo got off to a quick start with an early 7-0 advantage, but a dunk by Washington and back-to-back threes from Cruz got the Cowboys rolling. Wyoming took its first lead at 12-10 and extended its lead to as many as six through the middle minutes. Washington notched another thunderous dunk at the 5:49 mark to put UW up 34-27, but the Thunderwolves hung tough and cut the gap to 43-39 at halftime.
Martinez had 14 points at the break thanks to a 4-of-5 performance behind the arc, while Washington added 10 points and five rebounds. Five different Cowboys recorded an assist. Both squads shot 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field in the first half, while the Cowboys connected on 7-of-17 three-point attempts to 4-of-10 for CSUP.
Threes from senior guard JayDee Luster and Martinez early in the second half quickly extended UW's advantage, as the Cowboys pushed the advantage to as much as 10 points through the middle minutes. Free throws from Waddell and a breakaway layup by freshman forward Larry Nance Jr. down the stretch sealed the game.
Wyoming opens the regular season by hosting Western State on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 8 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.