LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Senior forward Larry Nance Jr. finished with a game-high 17 points against Denver on Tuesday, but it was another team effort that propelled the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to a dominant 68-42 win over the Pioneers in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys moved to a perfect 7-0 on the season by outscoring DU (3-3) by 19 in the second half and held their fifth opponent this season to less than 50 points.
"We took some difficult shots to start the game, and got ourselves in a hole," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We were down 9-2 early, but from that point on that's as good as I've seen a Wyoming team play during my four years here. I thought once we hunkered down, once we got control of the game and established Nance's presence inside it started to change everything."
Wyoming trailed by five points midway through the first, but rallied to end the half on an 18-4 run for a seven-point lead into halftime. The Cowboys opened the second half with a 9-0 spurt thanks to Nance and senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. and never looked back from there, extending the advantage to as many as 27 points with three minutes left. The Pokes held the Pioneers to one field goal the last seven minutes of the first half and one basket the first six minutes of the second half.
Nance's night came on 6-of-7 from the field and 5-of-7 at the free throw line, as he recorded his sixth game in double figures this season and now sits just seven points shy of 1,000 for his career. He added five rebounds and two assists. Hankerson posted 10 points and five assists, all in the second half, for his fifth game this season with four or more dimes. Junior guard Josh Adams contributed 11 points and six assists for his fifth game this season in double-figure points. Six other Cowboys scored on the night, including 22 points from the bench.
Wyoming shot 59 percent (22-of-37) from the field for the game, including 71 percent (12-of-17) in the second half, and has hit more than 50 percent in all seven games this season. The Pokes missed all seven threes in the first half, but hit 5-of-8 after halftime. Denver shot 38 percent (15-of-39) from the field and 27 percent (5-of-18) beyond the arc, but was outrebounded 28-20 and outscored in the paint 32-18. The Cowboys earned a 15-9 advantage in assists and committed just seven turnovers. The 26-point margin of victory was UW's largest in the series since 2006.
The Cowboys face their first road game of the season at SMU on Friday at 5 p.m. MT.