LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Senior guard Josh Adams led four Cowboys in double figures with 25 points to help the University of Wyoming men's basketball team earn an 82-68 win over Montana State on Saturday night in the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes (4-2) trailed at halftime, but outscored the Bobcats (4-2) by 18 in the second half to earn their 16th-straight nonconference victory in the building, the fifth longest streak in school history.
"I thought we did a much better job than we did in Billings, Mont.," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "Actually I thought we got much more resistance from Montana State those last 8-9 minutes. I'm really pleased with our performance at both ends, in particular on the defense in the second half."
Wyoming was behind by four, 40-36, at the break, before coming out of the break with a quick 5-0 spurt to retake the lead. The Cowboys and Bobcats would swap the advantage for several minutes, before back-to-back threes from freshman guard Justin James gave Wyoming the lead for good five minutes into the second half. The Pokes would extend the lead to as much as 15 at 72-57 with six minutes remaining, as UW held MSU to 68 points after allowing 83 to the Bobcats last Sunday.
Adams notched his fourth-straight game with 20 or more points for the first time since March, 2014, thanks to eight field goals, three triples and a 6-of-6 showing at the free-throw line. He added a season-high six assists and four rebounds. Junior guard Jason McManamen tied his career high for a second-straight game with 16 points, while redshirt sophomore guard Trey Washington III and James added 11 each. James hit three threes en route to his career high in points, while Washington reached double figures for the second time this season. Sophomore forward Alan Herndon hauled in a career-high 12 rebounds.
As a team, Wyoming shot 51 percent (27-of-53) from the field for the third game this season above 50 percent, and added 42 percent (11-of-26) from deep and 77 percent (17-of-22) at the charity stripe. MSU connected on 44 percent (26-of-59) and 37 percent (10-of-27), respectively. Wyoming led in rebounds for the first time this season with a 35-33 advantage on the boards and added a 17-8 lead in assists and 13-5 in second-chance points.
"I think we came up with 84 percent of the defensive rebounds and we knocked in all of the free throws that we needed," Shyatt said. "Finishing games for a new team is a new adventure and I thought they did a great job earlier in the week but I thought they did a better job tonight."
The Cowboys return to action at Denver on Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT.