LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Sophomore guard Alexander Aka Gorski paced five Cowboys in double figures with 18 points to lead the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to a season-opening 101-62 victory over Bristol on Friday night in the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes came out of the chutes with a 21-9 run and never looked back en route to their 13th-straight nonconference win in the building, which ties for the ninth-longest streak in school history.
"We know we are a different team this year," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We know what we lost and we know who the new guys are. We don't have that interior look that went to the Lakers. What we do have are guys that are very unselfish and that are capable three-point shooters."
The three ball was what blew the game open early, as Aka Gorski, redshirt sophomore guard Trey Washington III, senior guard Josh Adams and junior guard Jason McManamen all connected from long range in the first five minutes. Aka Gorski went on to finish 5-of-7 from the field, 3-of-4 from deep and 5-of-6 at the free-throw line. McManamen and fellow junior guard Morris Marshall both contributed 14 points, while Washington tallied 13 and freshman guard Justin James added 11 and a team-high eight rebounds. Adams and sophomore guard Jeremy Lieberman both had seven assists.
As a team, Wyoming shot 55 percent (31-of-56) from the field and 43 percent (12-of-28) from deep to go with 73 percent (27-of-37) at the charity stripe. The Pokes held Bristol to 34 percent (23-of-68) and 31 percent (10-of-32), respectively, while outrebounding the Bears 46-33 and earning a 20-9 advantage in assists. Wyoming outscored Bristol 34-16 in the paint.
"The first half I thought that there was a completely different edge on the defensive end which is something that I enjoyed," Shyatt said. "Kudos to the offense. We have a very unselfish team. Twenty assists on 31 baskets means they really look for each other and sometimes you can't teach that."
Wyoming led by 27 at halftime and as many as 43 late in the second half to improve to 75-36 all-time in season openers, including 89-22 in home openers. The Pokes are now 30-3 under Shyatt in the month of November, including 27-0 at home.
The Cowboys open the road portion of their 2015-16 season at Indiana State on Monday at 5 p.m. MT.