There wasn’t a lot to be excited about for the first 30 minutes of Wyoming’ game with Oklahoma Panhandle State.
But the Cowboys went on a 25-6 run over the final 10 minutes for a 74-55 win Saturday afternoon in Laramie.
The game was tied at 49-49 before the run. It shouldn’t have been. The Cowboys missed 17 shots that were either layups, dunks or right around the basket. UW wasn’t as sharp as it was in wins over then No. 19 Colorado last Saturday and at Illinois State on Tuesday. Understandable and somewhat disappointing against a Division II team, but the Cowboys were good down the stretch.
I picked senior point guard Derrious Gilmore as the most valuable player. He had 21 points, including a career-high six 3-pointers. Coach Larry Shyatt was right when he said teams have to play UW differently this season since Gilmore is a scoring threat.
Shyatt said senior forward Leonard Washington played unselfishly.He had only two assists, but should have had more if some of the Cowboys could have finished. Shyatt thought Washington could have taken seven or eight more shots in the paint. Maybe he should of. Washington had 16 points and 11 rebounds for his fourth double-double of the season and 10th of his career.
I thought it was great to see sophomore walk-on guard Jack Bentz get a career-high 11 minutes and a career-best four assists. Bentz got more time with sophomore Riley Grabau out a week with knee pain. Shyatt said he wants to see his bench become involved in games, starting from the defensive end. Bentz didn’t do anything in this game to keep him from getting more opportunities to play.
I thought the crowd of 5,412 was disappointing coming off the wins over Colorado and Illinois State. But those here, especially the students, were pretty good. Shyatt said he would like more fans to come to games to watch this team, and referenced The Pit at New Mexico in that it doesn’t matter the opponent, 16,000 or so come watch the Lobos play anybody. Shyatt hopes to develop that culture here.
Some off time for the Cowboys in terms of games. The next one is Dec. 18 at home against Denver. It is finals time for the players. Can’t say I miss those days.
For more on the game, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and go to www.wyosports.net.