LARAMIE– The Wyoming Cowboys had six players score in double-figures and dished out 25 assists on 30 baskets on National Random Acts of Kindness Day in a 89-75 win over San Jose State on Saturday afternoon in the Arena-Auditorium.
Wyoming (17-10 Overall, 8-6 MW) connected on 16 three pointers in the contest tying for the third most in a single game in school history.
Coach Edwards Impressed by 25 Assists
“It always looks good when shots are going in, but what I was most pleased with was how we got those shots and that speaks to our 25 assists today,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said.
“We had guys penetrating and making plays and then kicking the ball out to guys who were ready to shoot the basketball. I thought we did a great job of moving the ball today, and certain times during the game I thought we did a good job of defending, as well.”
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The Pokes shot 42 three pointers in the game, the most in school history and the second most in the history of the Arena-Auditorium. Wyoming hit 11 in the first half for the most in an opening frame since hitting 12 on Jan. 11, 2017 against Utah State.
The Cowboys’ 25 assists was the second most in a contest this season behind 28 against Drake on Dec. 2, 2017.
“I want to thank the fans for coming out. We had a good crowd today,” Edwards said. “I know our guys get into that when we have a big crowd.
“Since we turn right around and play New Mexico back here on Tuesday night, I hope all the fans will come back out and give us the same energy they gave us today.”
Dalton Recorded Six Three Pointers
Senior forward Hayden Dalton recorded a career-high six three pointers on his way to scoring 22 points. He also added 10 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season and 22nd of his career.
Junior guard Justin James added 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting to go along with six assists. Senior forward Alan Herndon added 15 points and recorded three blocks for 173 in his career tying for third in school history with Josh Davis.
Senior guard Alexander Aka Gorski, sophomore guard Cody Kelley and freshman forward Hunter Maldonado added 11 points apiece. Each player ironically went 3-of-8 from behind the three point line for the afternoon.
Wyoming shot 49 percent (30-of-61) from the field and 38 percent (16-of-42) from behind the three point line. Wyoming scored 28 points off of turnovers for the second most this season. Wyoming finished the game going 13-of-15 from the free throw line for 87 percent.
UW Leads at Half
After the Pokes jumped out to a 5-2 lead, The Spartans went on a 9-0 run over 1:47 to take a 11-5 lead on the Pokes. SJSU hit three-straight field goals during the run, but the surge was halted by a three pointer from Maldonado.
After the Maldonado three pointer, Dalton and Aka Gorski added threes to give the Pokes’ a 14-11 lead five minutes into the frame. SJSU responded with a 6-0 run to take a 21-17 lead on UW minutes later.
San Jose State’s leading scorer Ryan Welage gave the Spartans a five point lead at 27-22 with 8:30 left in the opening half. But five-straight points from Kelley over two minutes tied the game at 27’s.
After Kelley tied the game, Maldonado and Aka Gorski added 11 points to give Wyoming a 38-27 lead with under five minutes left. Aka Gorski added two three pointers during the run with a triple and layup from Maldonado.
San Jose State would cut the lead down to as little as six points, but the Pokes pushed the advantage back to 10 points before taking an eight point lead at 45-37 into the half. Wyoming shot 50 percent from the field in the open stanza.
UW Held Onto Lead to Secure the Win
James scored the first six points of the second half for Wyoming to give UW a 51-38 lead a little over two minutes into the frame. Maldonado and Kelley would add triples to help Wyoming build the lead to 19 points at 59-40 at the 15:48 mark of the half.
The Spartans hit four-straight shots on their trip down the floor to cut the lead to 13 points at 64-53 with 12:28 left in the half. The Pokes would push the advantage to 16 on their 14th three of the game and fifth of the contest by Dalton.
But the Spartans would not going away cutting the lead to nine points at 73-64 on a Jalen James three pointer with 7:10 remaining in the game. But a 5-0 run and Dalton’s career-best sixth three made it a 14 points game at 78-64 a minute later.
The lead was cut to nine once again at 80-71 with 2:49 left, but a layup by Herndon as the shot clock expired pushed the advantage back to double-digits and the Pokes would never look back taking the 89-75 win.
“After the game, I did talk to our team about finishing games, not letting teams creep their way back in and we did a good job of that tonight,” Edwards said.
San Jose State was led by Keith Fisher with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Ryan Welage added 19 points being held to 8-of-18 from the field. Jaycee Hillsman also added a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
The Pokes return to action on Tuesday night hosting New Mexico at 7 pm in the Arena-Auditorium. The contest will be televised on AT&T SportsNet.