It may not have been one of the best played games between Wyoming and Colorado State in its long men’s basketball history.
But it was one of the more exciting ones as the Cowboys won 60-54 in front of a near sellout crowd of 8,108 Wednesday night at Moby Arena Wednesday night.
Wyoming had 17 turnovers, went nearly nine minutes without a basket in the second half, had two of its better players in foul trouble and its best player rattled by an injury.
Yet, the Cowboys never trailed in the game and improved to 14-2 overall, 3-0 in the Mountain West. It is the first time since the 2002-03 season that UW has started 3-0 in MW play. The Pokes also snapped a five-game losing streak at Colorado State (14-2, 1-2) and snapped the Rams’ 10-game home winning streak.
And one last streak, UW has won three straight road games after losing its first two this season.
Redshirt sophomore guard Jason McManamen of Torrington hit a 3-pointer with 23 seconds to play to give UW a 59-54 lead. That sealed the win. McManamen had eight poins off the bench and made both of his 3-pointers in the game.
Here are highlights of that last 3-pointers, and what McManamen had to say after the game:
Senior forward Larry Nance Jr. scored a team-high 15 points, but late in the first half his surgically repaired right knee buckled and he limped off the court heading into halftime. Nance started the second half, but wasn’t much of a factor until late. Nance was not made available to the media after the game, but here is what coach Larry Shyatt said about Nance and his team’s effort. Hopefully, the issue with Nance was more of a scare than physical damage.
A couple of other thoughts and observations from the game:
–UW played 10 guys, the most it has played in conference play this season. With Nance hurting and senior forward Derek Cooke Jr. in foul trouble in the first half, redshirt freshman forward Alan Herndon played a career-high 32 minutes. He had two points, five rebounds, and three turnovers. But he also had an assist, steal and blocked shot. Herndon played well and seems to keep improving the more he plays.
–There is something about senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. and making long-range 3-pointers as the shot clock is about to expire. Two of Hankerson’s three 3s in the game came early in the second half. The first was UW’s first points of the half. The second came with 15:49 to play as the shot clock was about to end. That gave UW its biggest lead at 43-30. After that was when the scoring drought started. Still, Hankerson has a knack of making big 3s like that. Here’s what he said about that after the game.
–UW held Colorado State to its fewest baskets in a game this season (17), and its second-fewest points. The Rams shot 34 percent and were 2 of 14 from 3-point range. But they missed nine shots that were either layups or in the paint in the first half, and seven layups in the second half. Only two of the eight players that saw action shot better than 50 percent from the field.
–CSU coach Larry Eustachy said the home crowd — with along with a decent group of UW fans — was “off the chart,” but he also said it may have intimidated some of his players because many had not played in front of such a big home crowd.
–Added Eustachy: “We missed a lot of shots we probably won’t miss, but I just thought Wyoming had just enough to out-tough us.”
–It was an odd stat line for UW junior guard Josh Adams. He had 13 points, including the first six of the game. He has six rebounds, which tied for team-high honors. Adams dished out a team-high five assists, including the one to McManamen on his late 3. Adams also nabbed three steals but had five turnovers. Adams entered the game with one of the best assist-to-turnover ratios in the Mountain West at around plus-2.
–UW was outrebounded 35-29 and 11-3 on the offensive glass. However, Colorado State only scored seven second-chance points.
For more on the game, see Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and long on to wyosports.net. Also, join me at 3 p.m. Thursday for my first UW sports live chat of 2015. Links to the chat are at wyosports.net and this blog.