Wyoming Takes Down New Mexico Highlands

by staff–20 Nov ’15

Senior guard Josh Adams posted a season-high 26 points to guide the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team to an 83-67 win over New Mexico Highlands on Thursday night in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys (2-1) led by as many as 25 points in the first half, before NMHU (1-2) pulled back within 10 with three minutes left. Wyoming would close the game on an 11-5 run, though, to earn its 14th-straight nonconference win in the building.

“We are a different team [this season],” UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. “We have different dynamics, and it’s new for me, as well. We need to rely on the three ball. We need to rely on attacking the rack off the dribble. We’ve got some guys to do it. We are not quite the power team that we’ve been the last four years, with the Adam Waddells, the Leonard Washingtons and the Larry Nances.”

Wyoming held NMHU scoreless for the first six minutes of the contest to help amass a 25-point lead with three minutes remaining in the first half. New Mexico Highlands would whittle the lead to just 10, though, with three minutes left in the game. That’s when Adams assisted on a dunk from sophomore forward Alan Herndon and then added his own layup. Redshirt sophomore guard Trey Washington III notched a driving layup and junior guard Jason McManamen contributed one as well. The spurt put the Pokes up 17 with 1:43 left.

Adams’ night was just three points shy of his career high as he notched the 60th double-figure scoring game of his career and 13th contest with 20 or more. He tied career highs with 10 made field goals and four made threes, as he moved into 28th in Wyoming history with 1,118 career points. Washington added 14 points on 6-of-7 from the field and 2-of-3 from deep, while freshman guard Justin James had 12 points. Adams had a team-high five assists and sophomore forward Hayden Dalton led the Pokes on the boards with six rebounds.

Wyoming shot 51 percent (30-of-59) from the field and 33 percent (10-of-30) beyond the arc, as the Pokes have attempted 30 threes in both games this season. The 10 made threes were UW’s most since the same amount at Colorado State on Feb. 22, 2014. The Cowboys committed just four turnovers and have just 13 total in two games this season, while adding 17 assists on 30 made field goals. Wyoming was outrebounded 40-27 by NMHU, though.

“The 17 assists and four turnovers (tonight) are the best we’ve had in my five years,” Shyatt said. “The 13-for-17 at the foul line — those are things by the way that they never mention on ESPN, foul shots, assists and turnovers, but they are so important.”

Wyoming travels to Billings, Mont., on Sunday to face Montana State at 2 p.m. MT in the Rimrock Auto Arena.