Junior guard Riley Grabau posted a career-high 17 points and junior forward Larry Nance Jr. added a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds to guide the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team to a season-opening 78-60 win over UT Martin on Friday night in the Arena-Auditorium.
The Cowboys ended the first half with 15-1 run over the last four minutes to take a 45-33 lead into halftime and never looked back.
“I really like this ball club,” UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. “We haven’t figured out the `it’ yet — what the DNA of this team is. It was probably the most zone we’ve played in maybe my entire career, but with the new rules, the game has really changed. I’m disappointed that it has changed, but we have to play with the game the way it is. Our zone kept us out of foul trouble, and that helped us a great deal this evening.”
Grabau’s career night came on 4-of-6 beyond the arc and 5-of-6 at the free throw line, as he added three assists and a steal. Nance also had two assists and two blocks.
Washington and redshirt junior guard Charles Hankerson Jr.were impressive in their career debuts for the Cowboys, as each scored 14 points. Washington hit three treys and Hankerson was a perfect 6-of-6 at the free throw line.
Wyoming shot 47 percent (21-of-44) from the field and 42 percent (8-of-19) beyond the arc, while holding UTM to 35 percent (20-of-57) and 33 percent (7-of-21). The Cowboys claimed a 39-28 advantage in rebounds, 15-6 in assists and 4-1 in blocks. UW posted 33 bench points, 26 points in the paint and 15 points off turnovers.
Wyoming continues its season at Colorado on Wednesday at 7 p.m.