Waddell Powers Wyoming to Big 65-54 Win at Colorado
Dec. 9, 2011
Senior center Adam Waddell scored a season-high 17 points, all of them coming in the second half, to power the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to a big 65-54 win over Colorado on Friday night in the Coors Events Center. The Cowboys (9-1) used an 18-3 run midway through the second half to claim the win over the Buffaloes (5-4) and their first on the road since Feb. 28, 2009.
"I thought our guys really stayed the course tonight," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We really battled well through some bad periods and that kept CU off balance. Our kids were really connected and focused throughout tonight's game."
UW battled the Buffs throughout the first stanza, before Wyoming's zone defense caused major problems for CU and held it to 24 points in the second half. The victory broke a string of 23-straight losses on the road for UW and extended its 2011-12 winning streak to seven games, while snapping CU's 27-game non-conference winning streak in Boulder.
"This is a big victory for us, but as I told the kids in the locker room it is how we handle this into tomorrow and on Tuesday," Shyatt said. "We can really take this into Tuesday and we really like a big crowd there, because I know this is a team our fans would be proud to watch."
Waddell went 5-of-7 from the field and 7-of-9 at the free free-throw line, while collecting five rebounds. Redshirt junior forward Leonard Washington scored 16 points, including eight in the second half, and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to go with two blocks and redshirt junior guard Luke Martinez posted 14 points and six rebounds.
The Cowboys shot 47 percent (22-of-46) from the field and 35 percent (6-of-17) from deep to 38 percent (19-of-49) and 25 percent (4-of-16) for Colorado. It's the fifth-consecutive game UW has held its opponent to less than 45 percent shooting.
Wyoming started the game tentative, as Colorado connected on five of its first seven shots to jump out to an early advantage. CU extended the lead to as many as 10 at 14-4 through the 14:27 mark, but the Cowboys crafted a 10-0 spurt to tie the contest at 14 midway through the first period. Senior guard Francisco Cruz and freshman forward Larry Nance Jr. hit jumpers and Martinez capped the run with back-to-back treys.
The Buffs quickly went back up by five points and held the advantage for the next five minutes, but treys from Washington and senior guard Arthur Bouedo gave UW its first lead of the game at 28-26 with 3:05 to go. The squads exchanged baskets over the final minutes, including a layup from Gilmore, before heading to halftime tied at 30.
Martinez had nine points in the first half, thanks to three treys, while Washington added eight points and three rebounds. Senior guard JayDee Luster notched six assists. As a team, UW shot 50 percent (12-of-24) from the field and 41 percent (5-of-12) from deep compared to 44 percent (11-of-25) and 14 percent (1-of-7) for CU. Wyoming committed nine turnovers in the first half to six for Colorado.
The second half started back and forth with the squads exchanging the lead three times over the first five minutes, before both teams cranked down on the defensive end. That's when the UW offense caught fire with an 18-3 run thanks to the inside game. Waddell scored nine during the spurt, including two thunderous dunks, while Washington added four and Martinez nailed a trey to put the Cowboys up 14 at 54-40 with 5:53 to go.
Colorado showed it wouldn't go without a fight, as the Buffs quickly closed the gap to 56-51 with an 11-2 run, but Waddell once again stepped up for the Cowboys. The big man drew a charge with 1:20 to go that turned the momentum back UW's way and hit four big free throws down the stretch to ice the game. Washington, Martinez and junior guard Derrious Gilmore also added free throws for the win.
Wyoming returns home to face UC Irvine at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in the Arena-Auditorium.