The Wyoming Cowboys held the Oregon State Beavers without a basket in the final 5:46 on their way to a 76-73 road win over OSU on Sunday afternoon in Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. Wyoming closed the contest on 10-1 run to earn the first road win under head coach Jeff Linder. Wyoming trailed by 11-points to mark back-to-back wins trailing by 11 points.
“Our defensive effort in the final minutes was tremendous,” Linder said. “I didn’t realize how good it was until I saw the stat sheet at the end. To hold a team like Oregon State on their home floor to 24 percent in the second half was about as good as it gets defensively. It just shows if you come out every possession and follow the game plan and our habits that we will have a chance to win.”
The Pokes were led by junior Kenny Foster with 19 points, as he was 6-of-10 from the field and 3-of-5 from behind the arc. He also grabbed five rebounds for the Pokes and scored five points in the final minute of the game. Freshman Jeremiah Oden added 15 points for a career high and fellow freshman Xavier DuSell added a career-high 14 points. Freshman Marcus Williams added 11 points along with five assists and five rebounds. Junior Hunter Maldonado added seven points and five rebounds and five assists.
“Credit to our all our guys tonight,” Linder said. “It was a collective effort and that is the beauty of this team. We have nine guys that on any given night can help us win games. I was just so proud of the guy’s effort tonight. We really weathered the punch early in the second half and we withstood it and we made some stops.”
Wyoming shot 48 percent from the field and held the Beavers to 36 percent including Wyoming holding OSU to 24 percent in the second half. Oregon State recorded 26 points from the free throw line and held a 39-38 on the boards. UW scored 40 points in the paint and held the Beavers to 22 points.
“We have to do the little things over and over,” Linder said. “There is never a possession and we have guys that want to be coached. It is great to see that when you do it that way you have a chance to win games.”
Williams got the Pokes off to a fast start scoring the first seven points for the Cowboys, but Ethan Thompson of Oregon State countered with eight points for an early 8-7 lead for the Beavers in the first three minutes.
The Pokes would build the lead to 14-13 lead five minutes in going 6-of-9 from the field. Xavier DuSell scored six-straight points with a three pointer and an and-one play to give Wyoming a 20-17 lead with just under 13 minutes left in the first half.
Oregon State went on a 7-0 run to build a 28-22 lead halfway through the half, as the Beavers got hot from the field at one point making 5-of-7 from the field. But Jeremiah Oden recorded seven-straight points to tie the contest at 31-31 with just under eight minutes left in the half. He went to the rim twice and knocked down a three-pointer during his scoring surge.
Oregon State went on 5-0 run to take a 37-33 lead with under six minutes left in the frame thanks to hitting their fifth three of the game. The Pokes got into foul trouble late in the half with the Beavers capitalizing at the free throw line to build a five point lead at 44-39 with two minutes left in the stanza.
Wyoming battled, but a three-pointer at the end of the half from Gianni Hunt gave the Beavers a 48-42 lead at the break. Wyoming did shoot 53 percent in the first frame, but the Beavers went 16-of-20 from the line in the opening 20 minutes.
The Beavers built the lead to 10 points at 52-42 to open the second half. The Pokes struggled on the glass early in the second frame, but a three-pointer from Foster made it a 47-49 game with 15 minutes left in the contest.
Both offense slowed down, but the Beaver maintained their 10-point advantage halfway at the 12 minute mark. But a pair of free throws by sophomore Kwane Marble II and a layup from Foster and a triple from DuSell made it a three-point game at 59-56 in favor of the Beavers halfway through the second half.
Marble II made it a one-point game at 62-61 for the Beavers with just over eight minutes left in the contest. The Beavers responded by pushing the lead to 66-61 thanks to a pair of free throws from Maurice Calloo and Dearon Tucker with just under seven minutes remaining.
Wyoming would make it a 68-64 game, and had chances to cut the lead even smaller at the free throw line, but the Beavers capitalized at the line and made it a 70-64 game with four minutes left.
Junior Hunter Thompson would make it a three-point game at 72-69 in favor of OSU with ninety seconds left with his first three pointer of the game. Maldonado found Foster to make it a one-point game and Williams made a fast break layup to take a 73-72 game in favor of the Cowboys with under 30 seconds left. It was a part of a 9-0 run for the Cowboys.
The Beavers would add another free throw, but the Pokes held on for the 76-73 road win for the first road victory under Linder.
The Beavers were paced by Ethan Thompson with 20 points in the contest. He scored 10 points from the free throw line. Tucker added 16 points in the contest along with six rebounds.
The Cowboys return to action on Wednesday evening hosting Front Range rival Denver at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.