Nov. 16, 2013
LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Sophomore guard Josh Adams paced three Cowboys in double figures with a career-high 20 points to help the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to an easy 85-64 win over Arkansas State on Saturday afternoon in the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes (2-1) led 56-32 at halftime and stretched the lead to as many as 28 points midway through the second half en route to handing the Red Wolves (2-1) their first loss of the season.
"I was really impressed with how we looked for that extra pass," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We were about as unselfish as I've seen. Eleven assists and one turnover in the first half really showed how we looked for that extra pass. That open guy."
Wyoming led by 24 at the break, but Arkansas State opened the second half with an 11-2 run to cut the advantage to 15 points just three minutes in. Junior forward Larry Nance Jr. and junior guard Riley Grabau notched the next 10 points, including back-to-back threes, to push the advantage over 20 again and the Pokes cruised from there.
Adams, who celebrated his 20th birthday the same day, was the star of the show, though. His career high total included an 8-of-11 showing from the field, several highlight-reel dunks and two threes. He also posted a career-high six assists in a team-high 30 minutes of play. Nance added 18 points, as he has scored in double figures in every game this season, to go with six rebounds and three assists. Grabau contributed 16 points, including three treys, and three assists.
"I thought we did a nice job of not settling for the three and taking it to the ground and trying to get some fouls and run the offense," Shyatt said. "Our offense is a product of the defense, so a lot of times in that first half we had some run outs because we had defended well."
Wyoming's season-high 85 points came courtesy of season highs in all three shooting categories. The Pokes made 56 percent (27-of-48) from the field, 47 percent (8-of-17) beyond the arc and 76 percent (23-of-30) at the free throw line. The Cowboys added a season-high 36 points in the paint, while outrebounding the Red Wolves 35-28. UW's bench scored 14 points for its third game in a row in double figures.
The Pokes maintained a single-digit lead through the first 12 minutes of the game, before really catching fire. Leading 32-23 at the 8:24 mark, the Cowboys went on a 15-1 run over the next four minutes to push the advantage to 23 points. Senior guard Nathan Sobey and Grabau made two-straight treys, while Nance capped the spurt with an emphatic put-bank dunk. Arkansas State would cut into the lead early in the second half, before Grabau and Nance once again cued a Wyoming run to seal the game.
The Cowboys conclude play in the Global Sports Main Event by hosting Jackson State at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Arena-Auditorium.