Defense Guides Cowboys to 68-52 Win over Pioneers

Dec. 2, 2015

DENVER -

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Senior guard Josh Adams led four Cowboys in double figures with a game-high 19 points, but it was the defensive end that propelled the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to a 68-52 win at Denver on Wednesday night. The Pokes (5-2) trailed by one with seven minutes left, but crafted a 16-0 run down the stretch to claim their first win in Magness Arena since 2001.

The Pioneers (5-2) trailed by 12 in the first half, but battled back to take a lead early after halftime. The two squads were within three points of each other for the majority of the second, before Denver took a 48-47 advantage with 7:41 remaining. That's what Adams hit two free throws, sophomore forward Alan Herndon added an old fashion three-point play and junior guard Jason McManamen hit a three to spark UW's 16-0 spurt. The run put the Pokes up by 15 with just two minutes left, as Wyoming held Denver to just four points over the final seven minutes.

Adams' 19 points came on 4-of-11 from the field and a perfect 11-of-11 from the free-throw line, as he added a career-high nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Alexander Aka Gorski scored a career-high 15 points, including three triples, while sophomore forward Alan Herndon had 12 points, five rebounds and two blocks. McManamen finished with 10 points and a career-high four assists.

Wyoming shot 53 percent (20-of-38) from the field for its fourth game over 50 percent this season and added 45 percent (8-of-18) from deep and 83 percent (20-of-24) at the charity stripe. Denver made 40 percent (19-of-47) from the field, but just 16 percent (3-of-19) beyond the arc. DU's three triples were a season low for a UW foe. The Cowboys claimed a 29-21 advantage on the boards and committed seven less fouls, but turned the ball over 15 teams for their second game this season in double-figure turnovers.

The Pokes led by as many as 12 points midway through the first half thanks to stifling defense. The Pioneers started just 1-of-10 from the field and trailed 18-6, but whittle the Wyoming advantage down to two at halftime, 27-25, after 11 Cowboy turnovers in the first half. The Pokes shot 53 percent (9-fo-17) from the field and 44 percent (4-of-9) from deep, while holding Denver to 39 percent (10-of-26) and 11 percent (1-of-9), respectively. The Pioneers had just four turnovers in the first half, but trailed 13-11 on the boards.

Wyoming returns home to host RV/RV California on Saturday at 1 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.