• Pokes shoot second highest field goal percentage of season
The Wyoming Cowboys shot 57.5 percent from the field and erased a first half double-digit deficit defeating Nevada by a score of 98-93 on Saturday afternoon in the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. Sam Griffin and Akuel Kot combined for 46 points and nine three-pointers to improve the Cowboys to 10-8 overall and 3-2 in conference play and 7-1 at home. Nevada falls to 15-4 overall and 2-3 in the conference and came into the game receiving votes in both the Associated Press and Coaches polls.
“It was a really good team win and I think it was the first time we put 40 good minutes together against a really good team,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “We knew we would have to put together 40 good minutes against a team like Nevada. Our guy’s energy and effort was very obvious and I thought our intensity of understanding the game plan was great. We knew we had to keep Nevada of balance and held them off long enough. I thought all our guys did a good job. I thought Sam played his best game since he has been here. He controlled the game and the pace he played was phenomenal.”
Griffin tied a season-high with 26 points and tied a season-high with seven assists. He was 8-of-13 from the field in the contest. Kot added 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting with a season-high five three-pointers. Brendan Wenzel added a season-high 19 points on 5-of-8 from the field. Mason Walters added 11 points and a season-high eight rebounds.
Wyoming shot 57.5 percent from the field for the second-highest percentage of the season. It marked the sixth time this season UW has shot over 50 percent from the field. Wyoming shot 56.5 percent from behind the arc for the sixth game shooting 50 percent or better from deep. Nevada shot 50.7 percent from the field. The Pokes hit 13 threes on the night tying a season best. The Pokes held a 35-34 advantage on the glass to win the rebound battle for the 10th time this season
The Wolf Pack used the offensive glass to take a 7-2 lead in the first two-plus minutes of the contest. Griffin added a three pointer for a 7-5 contest, as he opened the contest with Wyoming’s first five points.
Nevada used Cowboy turnovers and three-pointers to build their lead to 15-5 with under 16 minutes left in the first half. Wyoming would make five-straight field goals and make it a 17-12 contest with under 14 minutes left in the half. Wyoming held the Wolf Pack scoreless for over two minutes on the run.
The Wolf Pack controlled the lead, but Kael Combs knocked down a three-pointer for a 22-17 contest with under nine minutes left in the frame. Griffin would make it a four-point game with a triple and another triple from Wenzel made it a 26-23 game with 7:27 left in the first frame.
Cam Manyawu gave Wyoming a 28-27 lead on an and-one play at the 6:16 mark of the first half. Wyoming used the transition game to build a 35-32 lead on a Caden Powell layup at the 3:36 mark. Wenzel capped a 7-0 with a trio of free throws for a 38-32 contest. The Pokes would take a 44-37 lead into the half on 58 percent from the field.
Kot got the lead to 10-points at 47-37 in the opening 63 seconds of the second half. He later made it an 11-point game at 53-42 with 17:06 left in the game. Nevada made it an eight-point contest at 58-50 with under 14 minutes left.
Kot added his fourth and fifth triple of the game to build a 12-point lead for the Pokes with 10 minutes left. Wyoming built the lead to as much as 14 points at the nine-minute mark, but Nevada pushed it back until a Wenzel three made it a 15-point contest at 76-61 with just over eight minutes left.
Nevada went on a 7-0 run to make it a 76-68 game with seven minutes left. The Wolf Pack would make it a six-point game at 82-76 with under five minutes left. Wyoming pushed the lead to eight points, but Nevada made it a five-point game with 3:22 remaining.
Griffin hit his fourth three-pointer of the game for an 89-83 game at the 2:56 mark, but Nevada answered with a bucket seconds later. A triple from Jerrod Lucas made it a 91-86 game with 2:05 left. He would make it a 91-88 game at the line with 36 seconds left.
The Cowboys made it a six-point game at the line 94-88 with 21 seconds left and used the line to earn the 98-83 win and move to 7-1 in the Arena-Auditorium.
The Wolf Pack were led by Tre Coleman with 23 points on the night. Lucas added 20 points.
The Cowboys return to action on Tuesday heading to San Diego State to take on the Aztecs in a contest at 7 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.