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Cowboys Corral Aztecs, Win 58-45

Kari Eakins, Townsquare Media

Behind a pair of double-doubles from Leonard Washington and Larry Nance, Jr., the Wyoming Cowboys knocked off the 14th-ranked San Diego State Aztecs 58-45 in front of 9,573 Saturday at the Arena-Auditorium. Washington finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds, while Nance had 11 points and 12 rebounds.

Wyoming put the clamps on San Diego State with their defense, as they held Aztecs to 28.8 percent shooting (17-59) from the field. They shot just 2-18 (11.1%) from 3-point range. Offensively, the Cowboys shot 10-17 (58.8%) in the second half and knocked down 8-of-12 free throws over the final 1:37 to preserve the upset.

Nance knew it was a great defensive effort on their part saying, “This is a great team and to hold them to nine in the first half, that’s a great accomplishment for us. We just really proud of the way we played tonight, especially on the defensive end.”

Wyoming (15-2, 2-2) enjoyed a solid start, as they jumped to an 11-4 advantage behind six early points from Josh Adams, which included a highlight finish on an alley oop from Riley Grabau. The Aztecs struggled with three early turnovers and started the game 2-for-11 from the field. Those issues continued the rest of the game. San Diego State’s shot only 4-24 (16.7%) in the first half. Even though UW cooled off from the field, the Pokes took advantage of 8 Aztec turnovers and led 20-9 at halftime.

Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt said I told our guys after the game, “I love ‘em and love being a small part of this. Very seldom do you see teams that give everything they have in almost every practice, and then everything they have in every game. It’s so hard when the game is ugly offensively or it’s not going well, but we did let our guard down. One of the better teams in the nation shot 28 percent in the field and 11 percent from three, and like the bumper sticker says, it happens.”

Derrious Gilmore scored 13 points, while Josh Adams added 12. Wyoming shot 42.9 percent (18-42) from the field, 25.0 percent (4-16) from beyond the arc and 66.7 percent (18-27) from the free throw line. The Cowboys had 12 assists on their buckets.

Even though UW was out-rebounded by SDSU, 37-36, Coach Shyatt was really happy with Washington and Nance on the defensive glass saying, “I thought they did a great job. To me that was the signature piece of the game.”

The Aztecs (14-4, 2-2) were led by Jamaal Franklin with 13 points. Winston Shepard had 10 and Chase Tapley was held to only 9 points.

Wyoming’s next game will be Thursday, Jan. 24th at UNLV. The game will tip at 7:15 p.m. and coverage will begin on Y95 Country at 6:45 p.m.

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