The Wyoming Cowboys used a complete team effort in their fifth road win of the season downing Nevada 77-67 in the Lawlor Events Center in Reno, Nev. on Monday. All nine available Cowboys saw action, but double-doubles from Hunter Maldonado and Graham Ike lifted the Cowboys to improve to 13-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play.
“We knew we were playing a talented team,” UW head coach Jeff Linder. “Our guys did a great job on a short turn around. Nevada is a hard team to guard and our guys figured out that scouting report is what can you say it was a great effort.”
Ike led the Pokes with 24 points for his eighth 20-point scoring performance of the season. He also grabbed 11 rebounds for the double-double. Drake Jeffries added 20 points going 6-of-11 from behind the arc. Hunter Maldonado added 11 points and 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Hunter Thompson added 10 points off the bench.
Wyoming shot 42 percent from the field, but used 10 threes for fifth time this season with double-digit three pointers. The Wolf Pack shot 39 percent and owned a 39-35 advantage on the glass. The bench for the Pokes added 17 points.
The Pokes got off to an early 5-2 lead, but the Wolf Pack answered with an 8-0 run to take a 10-5 lead four minutes into the contest. The Pokes opened the game 2-of-10 from the field. The Pokes would go on a 5-0 run with a pair of free throws from Ike and a triple from Jeffries to tie the contest at 10-10 at the 13:24 mark of the first half.
Noah Reynolds would give the Pokes the lead at 16-14 with an and-one play with just over 11-minutes to play in the opening stanza. Nevada would battle back and take a 27-21 lead with back-to-back-back buckets with a little under six minutes left in the first half.
Jeffries then took over hitting four-straight three-point attempts to give Wyoming a 33-30 lead with 3:48 left in the half, as he reached 20 first half points. The Pokes would lead by as much as five points and closed the half with a 40-38 lead.
Neither team could muster a bucket in the opening two minutes, but Grant Sherfield of Nevada tied the contest, but Ike followed with a thunderous slam and would will the Pokes to a 47-42 lead five minutes into the frame.
Nevada went on 5-0 run to make it a 47-47 game with just under 14 minutes remaining. The Pokes would get on the board with a pair of freebies from Hunter Thompson followed by a steal and layup from Reynolds to make it a 51-47 game for the Pokes with 11 minutes left in the game.
A pair of big plays from Brendan Wenzel on both the offensive and defensive ends along with a tough layup by Maldonado helped Wyoming build a 61-55 lead with 6:40 left in the game. A minute later pushed the lead to eight points with a layup and then to 10 points with free throws.
A three-pointer by Nevada cut the lead to seven points, but Wenzel added a three-pointer to push the lead back to 10 with under four minutes remaining. Nevada used free throws to cut the lead to six points at 73-67 with 2:08 left. But a great dish from Wenzel to Ike moved the lead to eight points late and the Pokes would take the game 77-67.
Nevada was led by Sherfield with 20 points on 8-of-19 shooting. He also added eight assists.
The Cowboys return to action on Wednesday hosting San Jose State in the Arena-Auditorium for a 7 p.m. start.