Nov. 22, 2011
Laramie, Wyo. -
Redshirt junior Leonard Washington posted his first career double-double as a Cowboy with 18 points and 10 rebounds to guide the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to a 67-56 win over South Dakota on Tuesday night in the Arena-Auditorium. Washington added four blocks to his career highs in points and rebounds, as a crowd of 4,238 saw the Cowboys (3-1) hold a double-digit advantage throughout the second half thanks to another tenacious defensive effort.
"We wanted to force them into taking tough two, while limiting their three-point attempts, and I thought we did that," Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We took a step forward in that we did a better job of taking care of the ball and making good passes. Only seven turnovers is definitely an improvement."
The Coyotes (1-3) hung around in the first half and entered halftime down seven at 31-24. UW started the first five minutes with an 11-4 run to go up by 14 and maintained the at least an eight-point lead the rest of the contest.
Washington's night came courtesy of 6-of-9 effort from the field and the free-throw line, while he added four blocks for the second consecutive game. Senior Arthur Bouedo made his first start of the season a great one, as he also went 6-of-9 from the field for 14 points. The effort was three points shy of his career best. Senior center Adam Waddell added nine points and four rebounds, while senior guard JayDee Luster added seven points, five rebounds and four assists.
The Cowboys shot 51 percent (24-of-47) from the field, while holding USD to 38 percent (21-of-54). Both teams only made two three-pointers, as the Coyotes hit 13 percent (2-of-15) beyond the arc for a season-low for UW opponents. Wyoming committed a season-low seven turnovers and allowed just three steals for USD.
Both teams opened the game with turnovers, before South Dakota started the scoring with a three. The Coyotes tied the contest at 5-5 and went on a 13-2 run over the next six minutes to pull ahead 18-7 midway through the period. Senior guard Francisco Cruz and Bouedo earned layups, before freshman forward Larry Nance Jr. slammed a dunk home off an in-bounds play. A Derrious Gilmore trey was sandwiched by four points from Waddell to cap the run.
The squads exchanged baskets over the next five minutes, including a coast-to-coast dunk by Washington, before the UW offense went cold and the Coyotes climbed within three at 27-24. Free throws from senior guard Afam Muojeke and Washington down the stretch helped the Cowboys take a 31-24 lead into halftime.
Washington and Waddell both had six points in the first half, while Bouedo added five. On the glass, Washington had five rebounds and two blocks. As a team, Wyoming shot 40 percent (9-of-22) from the field and held South Dakota to 36 percent (11-of-30). The Cowboys were outrebounded 19-16, but committed just three turnovers in the first half.
Wyoming quickly extended its lead to double digits with an 11-4 run in the first five minutes of the second half. Waddell opened with a layup, Washington added the next five points and senior forward Rob Watsabaugh notched a jumper to put the Cowboys up 42-28. The squads exchanged buckets through the middles minutes, as Wyoming maintained a double-digit lead with buckets form Luster and Waddell.
The Coyotes battled back to within eight at 53-45 with 7:43 left in the contest, but Bouedo converted an old-fashion three-point play to push the lead above 10 again and that was as close as USD would come. Cruz, Bouedo and Washington all made layups down the stretch, as the UW offense crafted its biggest lead of the game at 16 with 2:46 left in the second half. Washington had 16 points in the second frame and Bouedo added nine.
Wyoming continues its season by hosting the Jim Thorpe Classic over Thanksgiving weekend. The Cowboys face Portland State on Friday, Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday and Louisiana Tech on Sunday. Each game tips at 7 p.m.