His nickname is The Boss.
Wyoming senior forward Leonard Washington proved that he is, and just about anything else he wants to be on the court in Wyoming’s 59-56 win at SMU Wednesday night in Dallas.
I wasn’t at the game so it is hard to go into great detail. But Washington scored 15 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, and 13 over the last six minutes of the game.
Washington also had 11 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season and 12th of his career.
Washington had consecutive 3s when UW was down by four points. He even banked one in. A big offensive rebound where he was fouled late in the game. He made only one free throw (UW wasn’t good at the line in the game at 12 of 21), but made up for it with a steal and dunk to seal the victory in the final seconds.
With senior guard Luke Martinez (broken hand) out and the team’s second-leading scorer, UW needed a lot of other players to step up.
Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr., had 12 points and true freshman guard Josh Adams added 11. Sophomore guard Riley Grabau was 3 of 7 from 3-point range and finished with nine points. He also had four assists and one turnover in 37 minutes. UW needed all of that as senior point guard Derrious Gilmore didn’t have his best game with three points, six assists and four turnovers.
Even junior guard Nathan Sobey and sophomore forward Derek Cooke Jr., did some good things during their time of the floor. That’s the kind of effort it will take for this team to win in conference play, which begins Jan. 9 at home against Boise State (11-2).
UW had eight turnovers in the first half, but was better in the second half with six. UW’s bench outscored SMU’s 5-0.
The Cowboys also held SMU’s leading scorer, 6-6 sophomore guard Jalen Jones, to just six points on 1 of 6 shooting. Four of his points came from the free-throw line. Jones entered the game averaging 15.1 points per game.
This team always talks about embracing adversity. Easy to talk about, but not to overcome. This squad found another way of doing it tonight. The end result is a 13-0 start, the best in school history. Enough to get it ranked in the top 25 next week?
Probably not, but the Cowboys are getting closer.