Of all the things I thought I might see from the Wyoming men’s basketball team in Wednesday’s first-round CBI game with North Dakota State, I didn’t think one of them would be the Cowboys giving up 75 points.
Fortunately, UW scored 78 and won the game to advance to the second round where it plays at Washington State at 8 p.m. Monday night.
I thought junior forward Leonard Washington was a beast, once again. He had his fourth double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. His three-point play with 18.5 seconds to play gave UW a 75-70 lead.
More on Washington later this week in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.
Senior center Adam Waddell was solid scoring the basketball with 13 points. Senior guard Francisco Cruz had a quiet 14 points.
But defensively UW gave up the most points to anyone all season, and the Bison shot 53.7 percent. North Dakota State barely got its players together from spring break to get here. Credit to NDSU, but UW coach Larry Shyatt wasn’t happy with the defense or the fact his team committed 17 turnovers.
Still, it was UW’s first postseason win (aside from the MW Tournament) since 2003.
One guy who is funny is North Dakota State coach Saul Phillips. He was an assistant for Tim Miles at NDSU before Miles was hired at Colorado State in 2007. Phillips took over for Miles and you can see where he gets his sense of humor.
Here’s what Phillips said about Washington, who he saw when Washington was a freshman at USC in 2008.
“He’s a big, active dude and active in a lot of ways,” he said. “He was active with his gums at times. He has a lot of energy and a lot to say. .. Looks to me he’s in good shape and doing the right things. I think Larry ahs a pretty good player there.”
He was pretty good in this game.
Phillips also said his team voted for him to get a technical foul because his team committed 28 fould compared to 19 for UW, and the Bison were outscored at the free-throw line 29-14. But he said his wife would be mad if he did, so he passed.
Good guy with a team he described with “junior-college” eligibility with seven sophomores and three freshmen.
UW coach Larry Shyatt said he will give the players some time off until Saturday. He said the players need some time away from him, but they also seem to be ready to play another postseason game next week.
For more on the game, see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang.