Pokes Rout Utah State

by staff–7 Feb ’16

Junior guard Jason McManamen made a career-high six threes and the University of Wyoming men’s basketball connected on 20 as a team to set team and facility records during an 84-65 dismantling of Utah State on Saturday afternoon in the Arena-Auditorium. The 20 triples from the Cowboys (12-13, 5-7 MW) also tied the Mountain West’s single-game record and tied for the most in an NCAA game this season.

The Pokes led the Aggies (11-11, 3-8 MW) by just one at halftime, 38-37, but exploded out of the gates in the second half with a 21-2 run to build a 59-39 advantage just eight minutes into the frame. A triple from senior guard Josh Adams started the spurt, but it was four-straight threes by sophomore guard Alexander Aka Gorski, redshirt sophomore guard Trey Washington III, sophomore forward Hayden Dalton and McManamen that really showed the Cowboys were shooting the lights out. Wyoming would push the advantage to as much as 24 with eight minutes left in the game.

“I thought we did a great job attacking and using the clock,” UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. “I even thought we did a good job against their zone. We struggled against their zone a year ago. Tonight we found people and used the pass fake to find people more than we have in the past. In the past we’ve dribbled ourselves into trouble against Utah State.”

McManamen finished with a game-high 20 points and has made 15 triples over Wyoming’s last three games. His six threes against Utah State tied for ninth in Wyoming single-game history and eighth in AA history. Adams chipped in 19 points, six rebounds and a season-high seven assists, while sophomore guard Jeremy Lieberman and sophomore forward Alan Herndon had 12 points apiece. The Pokes improved to 6-0 this season when four Cowboys reach double-figure points. Adams also moved into sixth in Cowboy history with 360 assists. Lieberman added three assists and Herndon had a team-high seven rebounds.

Wyoming shot 50 percent (28-of-56) from the field and a season-high 53 percent (20-of-38) beyond the arc for the game, including 60 and 59 percent, respectively, in the second half. UW’s 20 threes broke its record of 14 in 1999 and the AA record of 16 in 2008, while its 38 attempts also set a school record, surpassing 36 attempts in 2008, and rank second in AA history. The 20 threes also moved Wyoming to 229 this season to set a new single-season record for the Pokes. Seven different players made a triple against the Aggies.

Utah State made a respectable 48 percent (25-of-52) from the field and 47 percent (7-of-15) from three, but couldn’t hang with the Pokes. The Cowboys earned a 34-27 advantage on the boards and tallied a season-high 18 assists, while committing just seven turnovers and holding the Aggies to just one second-chance point, a season low for a UW foe. Wyoming has turned the ball over less than 10 times in four of the last seven games.

The Cowboys now have a midweek bye before returning to action at Boise State on Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. MT.