LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Senior forward Larry Nance Jr. scored 15 points and junior guard Josh Adams chipped in 11, but it was more robust defense that allowed the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to earn a 65-41 victory over Stetson on Wednesday night in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys (5-0) held their fourth-straight foe under 50 points to accomplish the feat for the first time since January 1982.
"Our bench did a great job again tonight, but our bench can't get that opportunity unless our first group does its job," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "Stetson was a physical team. They've got a lot of young kids. They're going to have a very good season, and they're going to have a better future."
The Pokes once again struck an early lead, this time leading by as many as 12 points just six minutes into the game. The Hatters (2-4) would briefly cut the lead to single digits, but a 14-5 run by Wyoming put the Cowboys up 33-16 at halftime and UW would extend that lead to as much as 27 late in the second half.
"I thought our defense, especially in the first half, was about as good as it has been all year," Shyatt said. "I was very happy that we were able to get a lot of guys a lot of minutes, because playing four games in eight days it's important for us to utilize that bench."
Nance notched his third double-figure scoring effort this season on 6-of-8 from the field and 3-of-4 at the free throw line. He added four rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal. Adams was 3-of-5 from the field and 5-of-6 at the charity strip, while adding four assists and four steals. Senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. had a team-high five rebounds and five points. All 12 available Cowboys played and 10 scored.
Wyoming shot more than 50 percent from the field for a fifth-straight game, hitting 55 percent (24-of-44) from the field, while holding the Hatters to 34 percent (13-of-38) for the game and just 18 percent (4-of-22) in the first half. The Cowboys earned a 32-21 advantage on the boards, the first time since 2010-11 with back-to-back games with a double-figure rebounding margin. Wyoming committed a season-high 18 fouls and earned a season-low 14 assists, but forced Stetson into 18 turnovers and outscored the Hatters 32-14 in the paint. UW's 19 points off turnovers marked the fifth-straight game the Pokes have scored in double figures off takeaways.
The Cowboys return to the Arena-Auditorium on Saturday to host New Mexico State at 4:30 p.m. MT.