Wyoming Cowboys Stun No. 19 Colorado 76-69
Leonard Washington scored 22 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and blocked 3 shots to lead the Wyoming Cowboys to a 76-69 upset of the 19th-ranked Colorado Buffaloes at the Arena-Auditorium Saturday night. Four other Cowboys scored in double figures, as UW knocked off the first ranked, non-conference opponent to visit the Double-A since the 1994-95 season.
"It feels good," said Washington. "Obviously we played a great team in Colorado tonight. Regardless of if they are ranked in the country or not, we knew it was gonna be a tough game. We still stuck with our identity, and that was defense, and I think that helped us win the game tonight."
An 11-3 run midway through the second half spurred by five points from Washington and capped off by a Derrious Gilmore 3-pointer put the Pokes ahead 51-42 with 9:16 left. CU pulled back within 55-50 on two free throws by Andre Roberson, but two huge 3's at the end of the shot clock by Gilmore and Washington extended the UW advantage to 58-50 with 5:17 remaining. Wyoming made 12-of-17 free throws in the final five minutes to ice the game.
The last UW points came on a dunk by Colorado native, Josh Adams, who played a career-high 31 minutes after starter Riley Grabau played only 9 minutes because of a sore right knee. Coach Shyatt said, "I felt really bad for Riley because I know how much he would've loved to have played against this team."
Adams took full advantage of the opportunity, scoring a career-high 12 points with 3 assists and 2 steals.
Right away, the Cowboys seemed up to the challenge against the nationally ranked Buffs. It was a tight first half that featured seven lead changes and eight ties. Neither team held a lead of more than three points. Washington led the charge with 11 points, 2 rebounds and 2 big blocked shots. Nance, Jr. added 6 points, as well as Adams on a pair of huge 3-pointers. Still, Colorado held a 28-26 edge at halftime thanks to 5 points from Spencer Dinwiddie in the final 42 seconds.
Colorado was led by Dinwiddie with 24 points and Andre Roberson who had 16 points and 12 boards. CU starters Roberson, Josh Scott and Sabatino Chen all fouled out of the game.
Wyoming (8-0) shot 48.0 percent (24-50) from the field, 28.0 percent (7-25) from 3-point range and 63.6 percent (21-33) from the charity stripe. Larry Nance, Jr., Luke Martinez and Gilmore also scored in double figures with 14, 13 and 12 respectively.
"I was more worried about this game," said Wyoming Head Coach Larry Shyatt, knowing the environment would be different than what they've seen at home so far this season. "I don't know how this young team is going to react. I wanted them to do just what they've been doing. Sort of have it be an ugly, defensive minded game and find a way to win."
The Cowboys are now 9-2 in their last 11 games against the Buffs. Wyoming's last win over a non-conference ranked opponent was in 2002 against No. 6 Gonzaga in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on March 14.
UW will be on the road for next game on Tuesday, Dec. 4th. The Pokes will take Illinois State at 6 p.m. with coverage starting on Y95 Country at 5:30 p.m.