My three takes from Wyoming’s 64-58 win at Nevada Tuesday night at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nevada.
1. Tale of two halves: Simply put, UW was awful in the first half and awful good in the second. The Cowboys were 6 of 23 from the field in the first half, and even missed all five
of its free throws — all by guards. The Cowboys were trying to drive to the basket, but Nevada did a good job of blocking shots and stopping that. UW had open outside shots, but it couldn’t hit them. But in the second half, after the Cowboys hit a few outside shots, they looked like the team that ran the floor in transition against San Jose State last Saturday in Laramie. The Cowboys shot 61.5 percent in the second half (16 of 25) and made 5 of 8 3-pointers. “I credit our assistant coaches for grinding, and I credit our players because to me this was one of the most incredible I’ve ever been part of on the road,” coach Larry Shyatt said.
Here are some of the late second half highlights as UW took the lead with 4:25 to play after a 3-pointer by redshirt sophomore guard Jason McManamen, and never gave it back up.
2. More good play by Adams: Like most of his teammates, UW junior guard Josh Adams played his best basketball in the second half. But he sure was good on those final 20 minutes. Adams didn’t have a turnover in the second half, scored 14 of his team-high 18 points during that time, and was 8 of 10 from the free throw line after going 0 of 3 in the first half. The lack of turnovers was, and UW only committed six in the game. Adams also had four steals. When Adams plays well for the Cowboys, they can be tough be beat. Yes, Adams did’t shoot the ball well — 5 of 14 — but he did a lot of other things well to make up for it.
Here is Adams after the game:
3. McManeman to the rescue: Kind of lost in the UW’s second-half comeback — but probably not among the team — was the play of redshirt sophomore guard Jason McManamen of Torrington. McManeman scored eight of his career-high 11 points in the second half. His three 3-pointers made also was a career-high. McManamen made UW’s only 3 in 12 attempts in the first half. He also had no turnovers in 27 minutes and drew at least one charge. A lot of guys played well in the second half for UW, and McManamen was one of them. Here he is after the game.
A few other notes from the game:
–Senior forward Larry Nance Jr. made the trip with the team but didn’t play as he missed his fourth straight game with mononucleosis. He sat on the bench and was one of the loudest supporters of the team. UW is hopeful that Nance will be back for its next game Feb. 25 at home against Fresno State. The team will be off Wednesday and Friday. Shyatt is going to Florida to see the three recruits he signed from there, and when he returns Saturday the team will practice some. Sunday will be an off day, but players will meet at Shyatt’s house or dinner and to start looking at film of Fresno State.
–Could senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. be out of his long shooting slump? He shot better than 50 percent from the field for the first time in nine games by going 3 of 4 and 2 of 2 from 3-point range. You could see a huge relief on his face after he hit his first 3 of the game in the second half. It would be very big for UW if Hankerson can consistently shoot the ball from here on out.
–Was impressed with senior forward Derek Cooke Jr. once again. Even though Nevada junior forward AJ West had 18 points, 19 rebounds and three blocked shots, Cooke played well with 14 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.
Here is Cooke and Shyatt after the game:
For more on the game, see the Wyoming Tribune Eagle and also log on to wyosports.net.