Gilmore Guides Pokes Past Bears, 69-60

Nov. 21, 2012

Greeley, Colo. -

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Senior guard Derrious Gilmore scored a career-high 24 points and the University of Wyoming men's basketball team used a 23-5 run midway through the second half to down Northern Colorado, 69-60, on Wednesday night in the Butler-Hancock Sports Pavilion. The Pokes (5-0) won their first road opener since 2002-03 thanks to the decisive run, as Gilmore iced the game with 13 of UW's final 15 points at the free throw line.

Gilmore went 4-of-9 from the field, including 3-of-5 from deep and an impressive 13-of-14 at the free throw line. Senior forward Leonard Washington notched his third double-double of UW's five games this season with 10 points and 13 rebounds. He has scored in double figures in all five games. Sophomore forward Derek Cooke Jr. added a career-high 12 points to go with three rebounds and a block.

The Pokes shot 42 percent (22-of-52) from the field, but just 28 percent (6-of-21) beyond the arc and 82 percent (19-of-23) at the free throw line. The Bears (1-2) hit on 43 percent (23-of-53) in the field and 37 percent (10-of-27) from deep. UW's 5-0 start is its best since the same mark to start the 2008-09 campaign.

The Pokes began the game with a 10-3 run through the first seven minutes that was capped by a dunk from freshman guard Josh Adams, but UNC hung around. Cooke scored two consecutive layups to keep Wyoming in front through the middle minutes, until Northern Colorado crafted an 8-0 spurt to go in front by four at 21-17 with four minutes left in the half. Back-to-back dunks from Washington and sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. helped UW find an inside presence, but UNC hit a three with 58 seconds left and a jumper as time expired to earn a 26-23 advantage at halftime.

The Cowboys trailed at halftime for the first time this season after shooting just 35 percent (10-of-28) from the field in the first half and connecting on just one three (1-of-9). The Bears hit on 42 percent (11-of-26) and 36 percent (4-of-11), while outrebounding the Cowboys 19-15. UNC had 10 turnovers to seven for UW in the first half. Cooke notched six points in the first half and Gilmore had five, while Washington collected five rebounds.

Sophomore guard Riley Grabau opened the second-half scoring for Wyoming with a three and Washington put in a layup to tie the contest at 28-28 three minutes in. UNC went on an 8-0 run over the next two minutes thanks to several trips to the free throw line to go ahead 36-28 at the 15:50 mark. That's when Wyoming went to work on the inside to craft a 23-5 run over the next 10 minutes and take control of the game. 12 of UW's 23 points came on layups or dunks, as Nance and Gilmore added in three treys to put the Cowboys up 51-41 with 6:15 left in the game. The Bears would claw within six down the stretch thanks to several threes, but Gilmore scored 13 of UW's last 15 points all at the free throw line.

Gilmore scored 19 of his 24 in the second half, as Washington added eight points and eight rebounds in the frame. Wyoming shot 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field and 41 percent (5-of-12) from three in the second half.

Wyoming continues its season by hosting CSU Bakersfield in the Arena-Auditorium on Saturday at 7 p.m.