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Washington’s Second Half Pushes Pokes Past Nevada, 59-48

Leonard Washington (Kari Eakins, Townsquare Media)

Senior forward Leonard Washington scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half and grabbed 13 rebounds to guide the 25th-ranked University of Wyoming men’s basketball team to a 59-48 win over Nevada on Saturday afternoon in the Lawlor Events Center. The Pokes trailed 20-17 at halftime, but outscored the Wolf Pack 42-28 in the second half for their fifth-consecutive win on the road, their longest streak since 1990-91.

It was a defensive battle in the first half, until the Cowboy offense found its stride in the second half. UW was down 28-26 at the 13:37 mark, but crafted a 17-2 run over the next seven minutes to go up 43-30 with 6:10 left. Nevada would cut the deficit to nine twice down the stretch, but couldn’t get any closer. Wyoming shot 68 percent (15-of-22) from the field in the second half and 50 percent (4-of-8) from deep.

Washington posted his seventh double-double of the season and added a career-high six assists, tied a career-high with four blocks and nabbed three steals. He has had two or more blocks in nine games this season. Sophomore guard Riley Grabau reached double figures for the third time in his career with 12 points thank to a career-high four treys.

Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. added nine points, eight rebounds and tied a career-high with three blocks, while freshman guard Josh Adams tied a career-high as well with four assists. Adams fouled out, but was just the second Poke to foul out of a game this season.

Wyoming (14-1, 1-1 MW) shot 46 percent (22-of-47) for the game and hit 36 percent (7-of-19) beyond the arc, while Nevada (9-7, 0-2 MW) connected on just 29 percent (18-of-62) and 6 percent (1-of-15), respectively. The Wolf Pack earned a 48-31 advantage on the boards, but both teams committed 10 turnovers. UW’s eight blocks tied a season-high, but so did its 23 fouls. The Wolf Pack’s 48 points were the least for Cowboy opponent in MW play since UW held New Mexico to 48 on Feb. 11 last season.

Neither team shot well in the first half, as Wyoming hit 28 percent (7-of-25) from the field and 27 percent (3-of-11) beyond the arc to 29 percent (8-of-27) from the field and no threes (0-of-8) for Nevada. The Pokes committed 10 fouls to six for the Wolf Pack, but UW didn’t attempt or make a free throw in the first half.

Wyoming continues road play in the MW by traveling to Fresno State on Wednesday for an 8 p.m. MT game.

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