Cowboys Grind Out OT Win Over Louisiana, 69-61
Hunter Thompson scored a season-high 22 points to lead the Wyoming Cowboys in a 69-61 overtime victory over the Louisiana Ragin Cajuns in Laramie Thursday night.
Wyoming (3-3) won its second straight game and again had four players in double figures. TJ Taylor and A.J. Banks scored 12 points apiece, while Hunter Maldonado added 11.
Neither team led by more than seven in regulation. The Cowboys allowed only two field goals to Louisiana in the first 12-plus minutes of the second half. UW built a 46-39 lead with eight minutes left. The Ragin Cajuns responded with a 7-0 run over the next three minutes and tied it at 46-46.
A Taylor basket and a free throw by Maldonado gave the Pokes a 53-48 lead with 2:28 remaining in regulation, but they couldn’t hold it. Two baskets by Louisiana pulled them within 53-52. After one free throw by Maldonado, Cedric Russell hit a floater in the lane with 22.7 seconds left that tied it at 54-54.
Wyoming held for the last shot, but the ball was knocked away from Maldonado, and the Cowboys didn’t get a shot off. The game went to overtime.
Louisiana (3-2) scored the first three points of OT.
UW responded with an 11-2 run led by Thompson. He made a pair of free throws, which put the Pokes in front, at 58-57, and then added a reverse lay-up and a right corner three-pointer that pushed it to 65-59. That was the Cowboys’ only made 3-point field goal of the second half or overtime.
A floater by Jake Hendricks and two Maldonado free throws closed it out.
Wyoming shot 45 percent for the game. They were 7-28 (25%) from deep. The Pokes out-rebounded the Ragin Cajuns 39-37. UW had 11 assists, but 16 turnovers.
Louisiana shot 38.6 percent from the floor. They were held to 31 percent (10-32) in the second half and overtime. Kobe Julien led the way with 15 points. Russell added 13.
Neither team shot that well from the free-throw line. Wyoming was 14-22 (64%). The Ragin Cajuns were 13-28 (46%).
Wyoming is now 8-2 in overtime games under Coach Edwards.
In the first half, the Cowboys scored the first five points of the game. Louisiana came right back with the next 10. A four-minute scoring drought by UW led to an 18-11 lead for the Ragin Cajuns. Then, Wyoming went on a 20-5 run keyed by 11 points from Thompson. It was 31-24 Cowboys, but Louisiana closed out the half on a 9-2 spurt. It was tied 33-33 at the break.
Wyoming closed out its four-game homestand with a 2-2 mark. They head to Las Vegas for the last two games of the MGM Main Event. Their wins at home over Detroit Mercy and Louisiana were part of it.
The Cowboys will play Colorado in Las Vegas on Sunday, Nov. 24 at T-Mobile Arena. The game starts at 6 p.m., Mountain Time. It will be the first meeting between the two schools since a 56-33 win by the Pokes in Laramie on Nov. 22, 2014.