Cowboys Down Louisiana Tech in Dominating Fashion, 92-65

This year's Cowboys are the first UW Men's Basketball to win at least four of its first five...
This year's Cowboys are the first UW Men's Basketball to win at least four of its first five games since the 2017-2018 season.(Tyler Davis, UW AthMarketing)
Published: Dec. 10, 2022 at 11:34 PM CST
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Press Release) - The Wyoming Cowboys were clicking on all cylinders in a 92-65 win over Louisiana Tech on Saturday evening in the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. The Pokes held the Bulldogs scoreless for six minutes in the first half and shot 56 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes on their way to the second-straight win in the Arena-Auditorium. Wyoming had 20 assists on the night for the second most this season. The Pokes had assists on 20-of-29 baskets on the night.

“Collectively as a group that is what winning looks like,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “I think I found some guys that can play connected, and we saw that today and when you turn the ball over only five times that is elite. “We needed that energy from our fans that was in the Arena-Auditorium tonight. That was the difference between LA Tech coming back and making it a game and at no point did they come back into the game because of that great energy from our fans.”

The Pokes were led by Noah Reynolds and Brendan Wenzel with 20 points apiece. Reynolds has scored 75 points in his last three games, as he added four assists on the night. Wenzel tied a career-high in the contest and tied a career best with five three pointers. Hunter Maldonado added 13 points, as he passed Josh Adams for sixth in career scoring at Wyoming. Kenny Foster added 12 points for back-to-back games in double-figures. Jeremiah Oden added 11 points off the bench, as Wyoming had five players in double-figures for the first time since the season opener.

Wyoming shot 52 percent from the field in the contest and held the Bulldogs to 43 percent. Wyoming hit 14 threes on the night shooting 40 percent. The Pokes also had a 34-28 advantage on the glass and scored 12 points on second chances. Wyoming recorded five turnovers for the fewest since recording five against Utah Valley on Dec. 11, 2021.

“Our guys understanded the game plan and what they were trying to do defensively,” Linder said. “The energy was right, and the intensity of the players and crowd was great.”

Both teams traded threes in the opening ninety seconds of contest. After baskets that included a slam from Kenny Foster, but the teams would go scoreless for two minutes until back-to-back threes from Wenzel made it a 11-7 game for Wyoming with 15 minutes left in the half.

Wenzel added his third triple of the game for a 16-9 lead at the 13-minute mark of the opening frame. Noah Reynolds would add an and-one play in transition off a Nate Barnhart block. Jeremiah Oden made it a 10-point game at 22-12 with a triple with 11:21 left in the frame.

Foster would score five-straight with an offensive glass layup and a three for 30-15 lead with nine minutes left. Both teams would go scoreless again for over two minutes until Reynolds hit an acrobatic layup from Reynolds made it a 32-17 game with six and half minute left on the first half clock. Foster would make it a 20-point game two minutes later with an And-one play and Wenzel added freebies for a 39-17 game with under four minutes left. Wyoming held the Bulldogs without a point for nearly six minutes.

The Pokes would close the half on a 5-1 run and took a 44-24 lead into the break. The Cowboys shot 56 percent from the field in the half and held the Bulldogs to 36 percent.

Xavier DuSell, who opened the first half with a triple added his second of the game and made it a 47-24 game as both offenses struggled in the opening three minutes of the second half. LA Tech would hit three-straight shots, but the Pokes still enjoyed a 55-33 after a three ball from Maldonado four and a half minute into the second half. Maldonado passed Josh Adams for sixth in career scoring at UW with the basket.

Oden helped the Pokes push the lead to 25 points with an alley-oop slam off a dish from Ethan Anderson. Louisiana Tech added an and-one play and made it a 62-39 game with just over 12 minutes left. The Poke fueled by making four of five shots took a 73-46 game on a Foster layup with under nine minutes left in the game.

Wenzel knocked down his fifth three of the game and Maldonado added two free throws for an 81-59 game with under five minutes remaining. The Bulldogs would hit six of seven shots, but the Pokes would maintain the 20-plus lead in the final minutes and walked away with the 92-65 win. It was the second largest win of the season since winning by 33 points in the season opener.

Louisiana Tech was led by David Green with 21 points on the night. He was 7-of-9 from the field for the night.

The Pokes head to Chicago to take on Dayton next Saturday in the United Center in a contest on CBS Sports Network.