Cowboy defense impressive again in Sunday’s 40-point win

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University of Wyoming photo

November 15, 2021 — The Wyoming Cowboy defense held the Golden Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff to 29.8 percent from the field on their way to an 85-45 win on Sunday afternoon in the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie. The Poke offense countered by shooting 58 percent from the field, which was the highest since shooting 60 percent against San Jose State in the Mountain West Tournament last season.

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“Credit to my guys,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “They understood exactly what we needed to do. They’ve understood since last year for us to really compete in the upper half of the Mountain West, we had to get a lot better on the defensive end. Having the guys we have on this team, we have the makings of a pretty good defensive team.”

Wyoming has opened the season, holding two opponents under 50 points for the first time since the 1981-82 season. The 29.8 percent the Gold Lions shot on Sunday was the lowest under Jeff Linder and lowest since Detroit Mercy shot 28.4 percent on November 19, 2019.

Wyoming had five players in double-figures on the afternoon. Forward Graham Ike led Wyoming in scoring with 21 points and a game-high eight rebounds. He was at the line 16 times in the contest. Forward Jeremiah Oden added a career-high 17 points on the afternoon, going 7-of-8 from the field. Guard Hunter Maldonado added 16 points with six boards and four assists. Guard Xavier DuSell added 11 points going 3-of-5 from behind the arc. Guard Drake Jeffries added 10 points with three triples.

After the Golden Lions built a 4-0 advantage in the opening minutes, Maldonado added a bucket, and DuSell added a triple for a 5-4 lead at the 16:48 mark of the contest. Wyoming would hold UAPB scoreless for over six minutes forcing six turnovers to build an 11-4 lead. Wyoming led 42-22 at the half.

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The Cowboys opened the second half 3-of-3 from the field to build a 49-26 lead. The Golden Lions were 2-of-7 from the field to open the half, as the Wyoming defense continued to pressure. The Pokes once again held the Gold Lions scoreless, this time for just over two minutes for a 54-28 lead. They would add another 9-0 to lead 63-30.

The Cowboys hit the road for the first time this season heading to PAC-12 foe Washington (1-1) on Thursday night at 9 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WyoRadio’s 99.7 JACK-FM and 99KSIT.com, beginning at 8:30 p.m.