My three takes from Wyoming’s 63-55 win over Nevada Saturday:
1. Chairmen of the boards: UW outrebounded Nevada 34-24 and 12-9 on the offensive glass. Rebounding is not the Cowboys’ strength, especially not on the offensive glass. But they were good there against a Nevada team that averaged more than 41 rebounds per game, and 15.4 offensive rebounds per contest. Even though senior forwards Larry Nance Jr.(11 points, 10 rebounds) and Derek Cooke Jr. (14 points, 10 rebounds) both had double-doubles, it was more than just rebounding. UW got to most of the 50-50 balls, or hustle plays in this game. Sometimes that resulted in an offensive rebound. Other times in extended a possession. The hustle the Cowboys showed was impressive. UW was credited with five team rebounds — four offensive — and many of those came on hustle plays. The Cowboys also scored a season-high 16 second-chance points.
Here are video highlights from the second half:
2. Grabau getting hot: Senior guard Riley Grabau was 3 of 5 from 3-point range and is 11 of 21 in his last three games. Doubt he can shoot at that pace the rest of the season, but it is good to see him knock down some shots. Junior guard Josh Adams was 2 of 5 from behind the arc and sophomore Jason McManamen was 1 of 2. If senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. can only bust out of his slump. Hankerson was 0 of 5 from the field and 0 of 3 from 3. In his last three games he is 0 of 16 and 0 of 12 from behind the arc. Coach Larry Shyatt isn’t concerned about Hankeson because he’s playing good defense and being unselfish offensively. Hankerson said via his Twitter account after the game: “Great win. It’s all about the team. But I have to be better. I will be better.”
Here is Shyatt after the game:
3. More from D.C.: I really liked what Cooke did on the offensive end in this game. His 14 points came on 5 of 5 shooting, but only one dunk. Others were nice moves around the basket, many times where he started with his back to the basket — not normally a strength of his game. Nevada tried to go big against Wyoming and started 6-11 post Lucas Stivrins alongside 6-9 junior forward AJ West. Cooke did a good job of out-quicking Stivrins. The free-throw shooting from Cooke was also encouraging, although UW subbed him in and out late when Nevada was trying to foul. Still, a good game for Cooke and perhaps a confidence booster heading into the second half of conference play.
Here is Cooke, Nance and Grabau after the game:
A few more notes and quotes:
–“Everybody else did a fantastic job, but three assists and six turnovers (for me) is unacceptable. It’s something I have to tighten up.” — UW senior forward Larry Nance.
–“I feel pretty good about my shot. There’s a game that’s going to come down the road where to you don’t hit them all and it’s not going to feel good. I hope I wont have any of those, but I can’t make any promises.” — UW senior guard Riley Grabau on going 3 of 5 from 3-point range against Nevada and is 11 of 21 from behind the arc in his last three games.
–UW was 21 of 26 from the free-throw line (81 percent), and has shot 52 of 59 from the line (88 percent) from the line in its last three home games.
–The Cowboys had 15 turnovers, including 11 in the second half. It is the seventh straight game they’ve had at least 13 turnovers in a game. Nevada scored 18 points off those turnovers, a season-high for a UW opponent.
–UW allowed a season low two 3-pointers, and Nevada was just 2 of 11.
–Adams had two 3-pointers, and UW is 6-0 this season when he’s made two or more 3s.
–Shyatt said redshirt freshman forward Alan Herndon came down with strep throat, but was able to get some antibiotics prior to the game. Shyatt said doctors told him that Herndon was not believed to be contagious when the game started. Herndon finished with two points, two rebounds, two blocked shots, one steal, one assist and two turnovers in 14 minutes.
For more on the game and other UW and high school sports coverage, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and Laramie Boomerang, and log on to wyosports.net.