If you like defense it was pretty. Even so much of Wyoming’s 59-48 win at Nevada Saturday here in Reno featured some ugly basketball.
Both teams were ugly in the first half. It was 20-17 Nevada at halftime. UW shot 28 percent, didn’t shoot a free throw and was outrebounded 27-13.
But the defense kept the Cowboys in the game.
The offense was much better in the second half. Senior Leonard Washington for the third straight game was brilliant and, at times, took over. 16 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, four blocked shots, three steals.
I think he is flying the team’s charter flight back home tonight, too.
I thought the 12 points on four 3-pointers by sophomore guard Riley Grabau was huge for this team. As was the eight points and four assists by true freshman guard Josh Adams.
Adams went down with an injury in the first half and said it was a foot injury when someone landed on him. He said he will be fine.
Junior guard Nathan Sobey played a career-high 18 minutes. Had six points. He needed to play a lot because of foul trouble among UW’s other guards. Adams fouled out and he is only the second player (Washington) to foul out of a game this season.
Nevada was big and athletic, and I was surprised it didn’t play better. Junior guard and leading scorer Deonte Burton scored 23 points, but the rest of the team was a combined 10 of 48 from the field.
Good bounce-back win for UW after losing its conference opener at home. As of writing this, UW, Boise State and San Diego State are the only MW teams to have road wins so far — although there has only been one week of conference play.
One last note: UW coach Larry Shyatt coached the game sick and said he has some sort of bacterial infection. He also nearly left the game as he stormed off the bench and into the tunnel near UW’s locker room over a call by an official. He really liked how his guys battled and fought, and played defensively.
Off to Fresno State on Wednesday.