Nov 25, 2012 4:56 PM by Q2 Sports
LARAMIE, WY - Senior forward Leonard Washington posted his sixth-consecutive game in double figures with 13 points to lead the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to a 63-49 win over CSU Bakersfield on Saturday in the Arena-Auditorium. The Pokes improved to 6-0 for the first time since 1987-88, as the Cowboys held the Roadrunners to just 27 percent from the field.
"We really needed to lean on the defense tonight," Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt said. "We knew it was going to be a tough, physical game. [CSUB head coach] Rod Barnes' teams are synonymous with toughness and pressure defense, so we weren't going to get a lot of clean possessions. I thought our guys did a great job of battling through and never losing focus."
Washington went 3-of-7 from the field, 1-of-3 beyond the arc and 6-of-8 at the free throw line for his 28th career game in double figures. He also added eight rebounds and tied a career-high with four blocks. Sophomore guard Riley Grabau posted a career-high 11 points to go with an assist and a steal, while senior guard Luke Martinez notched 11 points and three rebounds. Sophomore forward Derek Cooke Jr. added nine points and six rebounds.
The Pokes shot 45 percent (17-of-37) from the field and 35 percent (5-of-14) from deep and held CSUB (1-5) to 27 percent (11-of-40) and 41 percent (5-of-12). UW earned a 31-28 advantage in rebounds, 10-6 in assists and 8-1 in blocks.
"I thought we did a great job guarding the dribble until about three minutes to go in the game," Shyatt said. "We had held them to three baskets over the final 13 minutes, but with four minutes to go we fouled excessively. It wasn't lack of effort, but we just need to do a better job of possessing the ball on offense and keeping a comfortable lead."
The Pokes quickly built a lead in the first half thanks to back-to-back treys from Martinez and Grabau to open the scoring. A Gilmore three at the five-minute mark gave Wyoming its first double-digit lead of the game at 14-4. The Cowboys kept the lead around that area the rest of the half, as CSUB could get no closer than eight points. Highlight dunks from Washington and Cooke brought the crowd to their feet, as the Pokes went into halftime up 31-23.
Washington paced Wyoming with seven points and six rebounds in the first half, while Martinez added six points thanks to two treys. UW shot 42 percent (9-of-21) from the field and 36 percent (4-of-11) beyond the arc in the first half, to 30 percent (6-of-20) and 60 percent (3-of-5) for the Roadrunners. UW earned a 16-15 advantage in rebounds in 4-1 in steals.
The Roadrunners keep the advantage at eight through the first four minutes, but a jumper at the 13:54 mark would be one of their few field goals in the second half. CSUB would hit only three more buckets in the final 13 minutes, as two came in the final 1:30 with Wyoming well in control. The Pokes expanded the lead to as many as 22 with four minutes to go.
Grabau had eight points in the second half, while Washington added six points and two other Cowboys had five points. Wyoming shot 50 percent (8-of-16) to 25 percent (5-of-20) for CSU Bakersfield.
Wyoming continues its season against UC Santa Barbara on Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT in Santa Barbara, Calif.