The Wyoming Cowboys remained perfect on the season with a 79-58 Saturday win over McNeese State in the Arena-Auditorium. Wyoming dominated the paint, holding a 50-34 advantage on the glass. The Pokes …
The Wyoming Cowboys remained perfect on the season with a 79-58 Saturday win over McNeese State in the Arena-Auditorium. Wyoming dominated the paint, holding a 50-34 advantage on the glass. The Pokes are 8-0 on the season for the best start since opening 13-0 during the 2012-13 season.
“I thought our guys really executed the game plan well,” UW Head coach Jeff Linder said, adding, “We were more dialed in today. They [McNeese State] are a tough team to play because they are so physical and really athletic, so you have to fight through that. ... that is good for us because that’s what we’re going to see when we play teams like San Diego State and Fresno State.”
Forwards Graham Ike and Jeremiah Oden each added double-doubles in the game, marking the second time this season Wyoming has had two players with a double-double. Ike recorded 18 points and added 10 rebounds in 20 minutes of action. Oden added 13 points and 10 rebounds. He was 5-of-7 from the field.
Guard Hunter Maldonado added 20 points to lead the Cowboys. He also added five rebounds and went 9-of-11 from the free throw line. Guard Brendan Wenzel added a career-high 11 points off the bench for the Cowboys. Guard Xavier DuSell added nine points on 4-of-7 shooting.
“I thought J.O. [Jeremiah Oden] and Wenzel did a tremendous job,” Linder said. “Brendan’s parents and grandma were here today and so it was good for them to see him play well, and he’s been playing well. He just needs to continue to get better. You can see with J.O. that he continues to get better and better.”
The Cowboys shot 44% from the field in the game and held McNeese State to 35%. Wyoming recorded only seven turnovers for the fifth-straight game with 10 or fewer turnovers.
Neither team could muster much offense in the opening minutes of play. The Pokes took a 6-0 lead with all points from Ike. McNeese State opened the contest 0-9 from the field and got on the board at the 13:58 mark of the first frame.
The Cowboys continued the solid defense and a and-one play from Brendan Wenzel made it 12-5 before McNeese State used a pair of 7-0 runs to take a 21-18 lead at the six-minute mark.
Wyoming closed out the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 33-26 lead at the break. Oden started the run with a slam and a pair of freebies were followed by five straight points by Maldonado.
UW opened the second half with a pair of buckets from Ike and Oden to take a 37-26 lead. Oden added a 3-pointer to make it a 42-28 contest at the 16:47 mark. Maldonado then took over for UW, scoring eight-straight to build the lead to 50-35 with 13:20 left in the contest.
Wenzel helped the Pokes close the game with eight of Wyoming’s final 10 points, as Wyoming took the contest 79-58.
McNeese State was led by Trae English and Christian Shumate with 12 points apiece. Shumate led the team with eight rebounds.
The Cowboys hit the road for a matchup at No. 11 Arizona on Wednesday, in a contest slated for a 8 p.m. start on the PAC-12 Network.