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Cowboys give complete effort to beat South Dakota 71-51

Nov 16, 2012 - The Associated Press

The shooting was there, and so was the defense for the University of Wyoming men's basketball team.

And there wasn't much South Dakota could do about both.

Senior guard Luke Martinez made a career-high seven 3-pointers. Senior forward Leonard Washington had his second double-double in as many games, and UW held South Dakota to 30.2 percent shooting for a 71-51 victory in front 4,747 Thursday night in the Global Sports Hoops Showcase at the Arena-Auditorium.

UW (3-0) made a season-high 12 3-pointers, and the defense recorded its lowest shooting percentage of the young season. The Cowboys also had assists on 18 of its 26 baskets. Sophomore guard Riley Grabau had a career-high six assists. In three games, Grabau has 14 assists and no turnovers.

"Probably our best effort and performance of the year with this group from start to finish," UW coach Larry Shyatt, who included UW's three-game exhibition tour in Canada in August and its two exhibition games, said.

Martinez made two 3s in the game's first two minutes and two more in less than four minutes into the second half. He's made 11 3s in the first two games of the tournament, and the seven treys Thursday was two shy of tying the single-game Mountain West record.

He's the first UW player to make seven 3s in a game since Sean Ogirri on Feb. 28, 2009.

"The only reason I get open is because our big guys are so aggressive down low," Martinez said. "When they get the ball the other team collapses and that leaves me open, or someone else open."

Washington had 17 points and 11 rebounds for his eighth double-double of his career. He had 17 points and 10 rebounds in UW's 73-60 win over North Carolina Central Wednesday night. Washington also had three assists, and made 2 of 3 from 3-point range, including one from NBA range.

Five different players made 3-points for UW. Some were more on the lucky side, including a banked shot by true freshman forward Austin Haldorson as the shot clock expired in the second half.

Shyatt said after the North Carolina Central game he expects 40-45 percent of his team's shots this season to be from behind the arc.

"Coach said if we're comfortable and on balance, take the shot," Washington said. "He said if it feels good, go for it."

A lot of players went for it in this game. Nine different players scored, 13 played and the Cowboys never trailed.

UW scored the game's first 10 points, but South Dakota cut the lead to 14-10 with 15 minutes, 17 seconds left in the half. However, the Coyotes scored only 10 points the rest of the half and trailed 35-20 at the beak. They shot 25 percent (7 of 28) and committed 12 turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

"They took us out of what we wanted to do offensively somewhat," South Dakota coach Dave Boots said.

But it didn't help that UW made 12 3-pointers and shot 45.6 percent from the field.

"They shot really well and hit some big-time threes on us, sometimes with hands in the face," Boots added. "It was hard for us to get any offense going tonight."

Freshman guard Casey Kasperbauer led South Dakota with 12 points.

UW concludes the Global Sports Hoops Showcase against Southern at 8 tonight in the A-A. Southern (1-3) lost to North Carolina Central 59-55.

"We will have to have our shoes tied (tonight)," Shyatt said. "We will be facing the most athletic team that's been here since the end of the Mountain West Conference season last year. They'll bring it as fast as any team we play and they'll try to beat us off the bounce."

Free throws

The 12 3-pointers UW made is tied for the sixth-most in a game in UW history, and ninth in A-A history. ... UW is off to its best start since it went 5-0 to start the 2008-09 season.

Senior point guard Derrious Gilmore played a season-low 11 minutes because of foul trouble. He finished with two points and three assists. ... UW and South Dakota played for the second straight year in Laramie.

The Cowboys won 67-56 on Nov. 22, 2011.

UW leads the series 6-2 and has won five of the last six.

Haldorson scored a career-high seven points, and sophomore forward Derek Cooke Jr., had a career-best five rebounds.

Eagles take flight

After a disappointing performance against host Wyoming on Wednesday, North Carolina Central bounced back on Thursday to record a 59-55 victory over Southern during the second day of competition in the Global Sports Showcase in the Arena-Auditorium.

NCCU senior guard Ray Willis struggled from the field, hitting just 4 of 15 shots, but was deadly from the free-throw line, converting 12 of 12, including two with 21 seconds remaining, to lift the eagles to ther second win of the season.

Willis finished with 20 points, while teammate Stanton Kidd added a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Southern had three players end in double figures, led by Malcolm Miller, who scored 17 points off the bench. Javan Mitchell finished with 14 points, while Derick Beltran added 10

North Carolina Central improved to 2-2 for the young season, while Southern dropped to 1-3.

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