LARAMIE -- Wyoming point guard Hunter Maldonado leaned on a pair of black crutches Tuesday night after the Cowboys outlasted Utah State 78-76 in overtime.

The redshirt junior suffered an ankle sprain when he ran into Rylan Jones near midcourt early in the first half, according to head coach Jeff Linder. Maldonado needed assistance getting to the training room and he missed nearly four minutes of game time.

He did return, pouring in 23 points and dishing out five assists in the Cowboys' ninth Mountain West victory in 10 tries.

Get our free mobile app

"He didn't feel like he could really do a lot but luckily down the stretch the adrenaline kicked in," Wyoming's second-year head coach said about Maldonado's performance against the Aggies.

 

MORE UW HOOPS NEWS:

* Pokes open crucial road wing at SJSU Saturday night

* Didn't like seeing Linder get ejected? You might be alone

* Tuck's 10 takes: Ike punishes Utah State late ... again

* Cowboys bust out late-game heroics, move into first place tie

 

With UW hitting the road for a pair of crucial league games at San Jose State and New Mexico this week, the main question now is -- will Maldonado play?

Take a deep breath, Pokes fans.

"Yeah, Maldo is good," Linder said Friday morning. "He tweaked his ankle a little bit there at the start of the game against Utah State. He's used to battling through injuries. He'll be good to go on Saturday."

Bullet dodged.

The Colorado Springs product is the only player in college basketball to average 19.5 points, 6.4 assists and more than five rebounds per game. Maldonado is also playing nearly 38 minutes per night to lead the team.

In the first meeting with the Spartans back on Jan. 19 in Laramie, Maldonado led the Cowboys with 20 points and a career-best 12 assists in an 84-69 win inside the Arena-Auditorium. Wyoming's leading scorer, Graham Ike, didn't play in that one after hitting his surgically repaired right knee on the court in a victory at Nevada.

Maldonado and Ike make up the highest-scoring duo in the nation, averaging nearly 40 points per outing.

The Cowboys (19-3, 9-1) and Spartans (7-16, 0-11) will tipoff inside Provident Credit Union Event Center Saturday at 7 p.m. MT. The game can be seen on Stadium or themw.com.

Super Bowl Champions From Wyoming