Larry Nance Jr. said Wyoming’s 67-56 home win over San Jose State Saturday at the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie was the Cowboys best team win so far this season.
I think he is right.
Nance led the way with 18 points, 13 rebounds, five blocked shots (all in the second half). He also had two assists and two steals. Nance was good — very good in fact — but so were others. Coach Larry Shyatt described Nance as an “octopus” with the way he played — especially in the second half.
Here are some highlights from the game:
Sophomore guard Josh Adams had 16 points and a career-high seven assists. Better yet, Adams had just one turnover after he had seven turnovers at Boise State last Saturday. That was his best assist-to-turnover ration this season. The Cowboys improved to 5-2 this season when Adams leads the team in assists.
Senior guard Nathan Sobey scored eight of his 10 points in the first half. He again looked good driving to the basket. He could have had more points but couldn’t finish on a couple of layups. Still, Sobey played well for the third straight game.
Here is Adams, Sobey and Nance talking to the media after the game:
Senior guard Jerron Granberry’s six straight points early in the second half on a three-point play and a 3-pointer after San Jose State cut UW’s lead to 37-34 was a big momentum change for the Cowboys. Prior to Granberry’s scoring outburst, San Jose State had cut UW’s lead to 35-34 as it opened the half on an 8-0 run.
And how about true freshman guard Trey Washington III? With junior guard Riley Grabau with first-half foul trouble, Washington comes in and scored eight straight points — a steal and layup and two 3-pointers. What pleased coach Larry Shyatt the most was his improved play on defense in recent weeks.
Grabau entered the week leading the nation in 3-point shooting percentage (51.9). But he was 0 of 6 from 3 in this game and 1 of 7 from the field. “I’m happy Grabau missed some shots so all this talk about being No. 1 or No. 3 in the nation is over and he can go down to Air Force (Wednesday) and play ball,” Shyatt said.
Grabau was 2 of 2 from the free throw line and has made 22 in a row dating back to Nov. 25 — a span of 12 games. The Cowboys made 14 of 15 from the line in the game.
Nance’s five blocked shots is one shy of his career-high. In the last 14 games Nance has 14 blocks.
I posted earlier in the day that how UW defended the 3-point shot would be critical. San Jose State shot just 31 percent from 3 and 37 percent from the field. True freshman Rashad Muhammad, who chose San Jose State over UW, was 0 of 7 from the field and 0 of 4 from 3. His only points came on two free throws. He is the Spartans’ leading scorer at 17 per game.
Here is Shyatt after the game:
UW’s game at Air Force on Wednesday is at 7 p.m. at Clune Arena. The Falcons lost at Colorado State 74-68 Saturday, but they swept the two-game regular-season series from the Cowboys last season.
For more on the San Jose State game, see Sunday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang and log on to wyosports.net. Also see all three outlets for an update on former UW quarterback Brett Smith and what he is doing to get ready for the NFL Draft. And, another former UW quarterback gives his take on Smith.