I liked how Wyoming men’s basketball coach Larry Shyatt described the Cowboys’ 64-54 win over Boise State Saturday.
He said it wasn’t much different than the previous four games — which UW lost.
The difference was there was no lengthy offensive droughts, and junior forward Leonard Washington stayed out of foul trouble and played like he’s more accustomed to playing.
Washington had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and didn’t pick up a foul, which in its own right may be the stat of the game. Washington has been plagued by foul trouble in recent games, and didn’t score in double figures during UW’s four-game losing streak.
Washington missed three layups in the first half, but he showed just how much he means to to this team. When he’s on the floor, good things happen. He needs to play 30-plus minutes more often than not.
Washington also showed off a bit with a long baseball pass for a layup to senior Francisco Cruz in the second half, a one-handed dunk off a missed shot and a breakaway dunk that likely would have been a six or seven out of 10 — but pretty cool nonetheless.
I thought UW won this game like many of the others: decent-at-times offense, good defense (aided by Boise State missing eight layups in the second half) and unselfish play with 14 assists on its 23 baskets.
Shyatt said the defensive effort was as good as he’s seen it since December, but also said that it’s harder to completely lock teams in the MW down like some of the Cowboys’ non-conference foes.
Liked what true freshman Larry Nance Jr. did in the game. He made his first three shots and finished with six points and five rebounds. This was his second straight good and productive game off the bench.
The oddest stat for me from the game was UW outscored Boise State 6-0 in fast-break points. UW isn’t a fast-break team by any means.
A good win for UW, and any win this time of year is good. Last home game for the Pokes is Tuesday against TCU. Big for six seniors, but big in the conference standings as (depending on what TCU does at home tonight against New Mexico), could be for a fifth-place tie if UW wins.
For more on the Boise State game, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.