November 10, 2012
Wyoming Gets Defensive In Win
The Cowboys opened their 2012-13 season with defense leading the way to a 62-42 victory over Western State.
The Pokes struggled shooting the ball at the 35% field goal percentage but drew praise from head coach Larry Shyatt with their defensive intensity after holding their opponent to 31%.
"I told them in the locker room that when you go through a long period of time not shooting the ball well, normally there is a drop of the head and some bad habits on the defensive end," Shyatt said. "I never got that feeling, even when we put some of the newer players in and that's a culture we want to build. On your worst shooting night you can still keep that score down and do the things that impact winning like low turnovers and high assists. We weren't pretty offensively, but I was proud of the fact they hung together and got tougher defensively as the game went on."
Wyoming received a good effort from point guard Derrious Gilmore who led the Pokes in scoring with 19 and played a good floor game.
Leonard Washington returned to the lineup and registered 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks after missing his first five shots from the floor.
"He gives everybody a lift. People don't realize that Leonard was here at 9 a.m. shooting free throws. Leonard was nervous and that is hard for people to imagine. He looks like this tough guy. He's a softy sometimes," said Shyatt. "When you come out and miss your first six shots, that is a little unnerving, but I was really happy to see his performance the second half."
One of the keys to success this season for the Cowboys will be good floor play from their guard line and both Gilmore and sophomore Riley Grabau produced well in the area. Grabau added eight points and no turnovers.
"I thought and Derrious [Gilmore] and Riley [Grabau], our two combo guards out there, did a great job," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "Seven assists and one turnover is great. When you're not making shots, you start getting choosy on your passes and I thought they did a great job of finding Leonard and Nance inside at key spots."
Next Up for Cowboys
Wyoming continues its season by hosting the Global Sports Hoops Showcase next week in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys face North Carolina Central at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, South Dakota at 7 p.m. on Thursday and Southern at 8 p.m. on Friday.
"We schedule a tournament three straight days, because if you want to cut the nets down and win a league championship in March, you're going to have to win back-to-back-to-back," Shyatt said. "It's a good experience. We are going to have to use a few more people and I'm hoping these teams come to Laramie and don't like the oxygen."
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