Nov. 14, 2012
Laramie, Wyo. -
Senior forward Leonard Washington posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds and senior guard Luke Martinez added 20 points to guide the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to a 73-60 win over North Carolina Central in its first game of the Global Sports Hoops Showcase on Wednesday in the Arena-Auditorium. The Poke duo helped Wyoming craft a 13-0 run early in the second half to take control of the game.
"I thought the [Wyoming] team we saw in the second half was the team we've seen in practice," Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt said. "To hold [North Carolina Central] to 24 second-half points and 27 percent shooting was a pretty good performance. We played more zone than I probably have in 39 years of coaching, but I thought we needed to. We were having some trouble defending the pick and roll, and I think it was a good decision to go to the zone."
Washington was 5-of-8 from the field and 7-of-8 at the free throw line, while adding four assists and two blocks. Martinez hit 7-of-15, including 4-of-10 from deep, to go with three steals. Senior guard Derrious Gilmore added 10 points, while sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. collected a career-high 13 rebounds and sophomore guard Riley Grabau posted a career-high five assists.
Wyoming shot 50 percent (26-of-52) from the field, but just 28 percent (7-of-25) from deep. NCCU hit on 40 percent from the field (18-of-45) and beyond the arc (6-of-15), but was held to 26 percent (7-of-26) from the field in the second half. The Cowboys outrebounded the Eagles 34-23 and had six blocks to none for NCCU.
"We had 16 assists on 26 baskets, which means we shared the ball pretty well," Shyatt said. "By the way, Riley Grabau had five assists tonight and no turnovers. In fact, he hasn't had a turnover yet this year."
The Pokes started the game hot with a 10-0 spurt in the first three minutes thanks in part to a three from Grabau and a layup from Washington. The Eagles (1-2) would claw back within single digits several times through the middle minutes, but each time Wyoming would extend the lead back to double digits. The Cowboys built their largest lead at 25-10 midway through the first half and kept it up until the five minute mark. NCCU closed the half on a 14-2, though, to go into halftime down just 38-36.
Martinez scored 12 points in the first half, while Nance, Grabau and Washington had five each. Nance added eight rebounds, and Washington had three assists. Wyoming shot 47 percent (16-of-34) from the field and 23 percent (4-of-17) from three to a blistering 57 percent from the field (11-of-19) and beyond the arc (4-of-7) for NCCU. Wyoming earned a 15-12 rebound advantage and committed just six turnovers to nine for the Eagles.
The two squads went back and forth over the first four minutes of the second half, before Wyoming crafted a 13-0 run thanks to a trey from freshman guard Josh Adams and another from Martinez. The Cowboys held NCCU without a field goal for over five minutes during the spurt to go up 57-45 midway through the half. The Eagles hit back-to-back buckets to cut the margin to single digits again with seven minutes left, but the Pokes easily pushed the advantage back to 14 and never looked back.
Washington posted 12 points and eight rebounds in the second half, while Martinez added eight points and Nance had five rebounds.
Wyoming continues play in the Global Sports Hoops Showcase against South Dakota on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.