Mar 16, 2017 - From wire reportsLARAMIE -- The Cowboys recorded their hottest shooting game of the season with season-bests from the field and behind the arc in a 91-81 win over Eastern Washington in the first round of the College Basketball Invitation presented on Wednesday at the Arena-Auditorium.
Wyoming (19-14 overall) recorded 50 points off the bench, as five players scored in double-figures for the fifth time this season.
"I thought it was a good showing by our guys," said UW head coach Allen Edwards. "Obviously, we talked a lot at practice this week about coming out and playing with energy. Nobody wants to end their season after what happened at the Mountain West tournament. To be given new life here tonight and come out ready to play for a full 40 minutes against a quality opponent, I was pleased with the way our guys played tonight."
Wyoming advances to the College Basketball Invitational quarterfinals on Monday, hosting Missouri-Kansas City at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium.
The Cowboys were 35-of-60 from the field for 58 percent and were 11-of-18 from behind the arc for 61 percent. Wyoming now has 318 triples on the season, a single-season school record. The Pokes have also hit double-digit threes in 10 straight games. Wyoming owned a 34-24 advantage on the glass and recorded 10 points off of both turnovers and second chances.
Sophomore guard Justin Jamesled UW with 19 points on the night. Junior forward Hayden Daltonadded 18 points for UW. Junior guard Louis Adamshad 16 points with junior forward Alan Herndonpouring in 12 points and redshirt freshman guard Cody Kelleytying a career-high with 10 points. Wyoming recorded 21 assists with junior guard Jeremy Liebermandishing out five and senior guard Jason McManamenadding four.
"It of course always looks good when you have five guys scoring in double figures," said Edwards. "But I also emphasize that our best offense comes from our defense. When we're able to get the defensive rebound and get out in transition, it makes our offense more effective."
The Pokes got off to a 7-2 lead in the opening minutes thanks to strong defense and passing. The Cowboys capitalized on the momentum and turned it into 13-3 run to take a 31-23 lead with 8:23 left in the first half. Adams scored five-straight points to spearhead the Cowboy attack. Another run this time of 10-0 gave UW a 41-26 advantage. The Eagles cut the UW lead to 10 points at 41-31 with two minutes remaining in the half, but a three pointer by James propelled the Pokes to a 44-32 halftime lead. The Pokes scored 20 points in the paint and added eight points off of turnovers in the first half.
The Pokes used a 9-0 run to build the lead back to double-digits at 63-53 at the halfway point of the half. Kelley tied his career-high during the run and Dalton added five points. The Pokes moved it to a 13-point lead on a fast break lob from Lieberman to Adams to make it 70-57 just under eight minutes remaining.
The Eagles were paced by Bliznyuk, as poured in a game-high 29 points and seven assists. Wiley added 26 points, as he recorded 17 in the second half.
Wyoming will host UMKC on Monday at 7 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium in the quarterfinals of the CBI.
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