Cowboys Hold Off Pesky Bobcats, 70-61
Larry Nance Jr. scored 21 points to lead four Cowboys in double figures, as Wyoming topped Montana State 70-61 Sunday in Laramie.
The Pokes used a 15-5 run in the second half to seize control. Down 49-45 with 11:36 left, UW scored seven straight points and took the lead for good on Riley Grabau’s 3-pointer. The Bobcats tied it at 53, but a Grabau three-point play kept the Cowboys in front. The run was capped by a pair of Nance free throws.
Wyoming (9-2) allowed only one field goal to Montana State over the final six minutes of action.
Head Coach Larry Shyatt said, “I have a lot of respect for the Montana State team. They played hard, played tenacious at both ends of the court and they gave us problems. For about 34 minutes, it was toe to toe. I credit our guys for holding them to one basket the last six minutes.”
Derek Cooke Jr scored 15 points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked three shots. Grabau added 14 points, and Josh Adams finished with ten points and five assists. The Pokes shot 57 percent from the field, but also finished with 11 turnovers.
Montana State (3-6) was led by Marcus Colbert with 18 points. They scored 16 points off 11 offensive rebounds, and their bench out-scored Wyoming’s 18-to-1.
The Bobcats knocked down five of their eight 3-pointers in the first half. That combined with six Cowboy turnovers helped Montana State be even at half, 37-37.
In the second half, Wyoming clamped down defensively and held Montana State to 1-10 from deep.
Shyatt said their perimeter defense picked up in the second half.
“I thought we did a much better job of protecting the three-point line… I thought those last five minutes when maybe fatigue was a factor we were able to get six or seven rebounds in a row when we needed to.”
The game featured ten lead changes and nine ties. The Cowboys biggest lead of ten came with 49 seconds left. Another edge for UW came at the free throw line, where the Pokes were 26-34 (76.5%). Montana State was only 9-14 (64%).
These two teams will rematch in Bozeman, Montana on December 23.
Next up for the Cowboys is a home game on Saturday, December 20 versus Southern Jaguars. The game will tip-off at 2 p.m.