Pokes drop third straight, fall to Santa Clara in OT, 89-85
* University of Wyoming press release
SALT LAKE, Utah (Nov. 30, 2022) – The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team fell to Santa Clara, 89-85, in overtime Wednesday afternoon in a game played at Salt Lake Community College.
The loss drops the Cowboys to 3-4 on the season, while the Broncos improve to 6-2 on the year.
Wyoming has now dropped three straight game for the first time since January of 2021
“I thought we really played well and battled, all things considered,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “I thought the effort was right. They just went out and played. They didn’t overthink things. A lot of guys did a lot of good things.”
Wyoming received significant contributions from quite a few bench players Wednesday. Noah Reynolds paced Wyoming with a career-high 25 points, while Max Agbonkpolo and Jeremiah Oden added 16 and 14 points, respectively.
“That’s the beauty of our team,” Linder said. “We have a lot of guys that when their names are called, they’re ready. It’s good to see Noah do what he did and for JO to see the ball go in. We definitely have some things to build on.”
Wyoming got off to a 6-0 lead with three pointers from Brendan Wenzel and Agbonkpolo in the opening minutes. Santa Clara responded with a 5-0 run that was halted by Xavier DuSell with a three pointer for a 9-5 contest.
The Broncos went on a 9-2 run to take a 14-11 lead on the Pokes with 13:55 remaining in the first frame. The Cowboy bench lifted by threes from Oden, Jake Kyman and Reynolds helped the Pokes take a 21-18 lead with under 12 minutes left in the half.
Santa Clara would take a 24-21 lead with a pair of threes halfway through the half. A slam from Oden and layup from Reynolds gave Wyoming a 25-24 lead two minutes later. Oden’s dunk was a highlight reel for the second dunk of the season from the junior.
Agbonkpolo added a triple and gave Wyoming a brief lead, but a three from SCU made it a 29-28 advantage for the Broncos with just over five minutes left in the half. Hunter Thompson added a three pointer and a layup from Reynolds made it a 33-29 game with four minutes left in the half.
Reynolds hit a pair of threes and gave Wyoming a 39-33 lead with two and a half minutes left in the opening stanza. The Pokes would then take a 44-36 lead into the half going 11-of-17 from behind the arc.
A big dunk from Agbonkpolo opened the second half, but the Broncos cut the lead to four nearly three minutes into the second half for a 48-44 contest. Santa Clara made it a one-point game on a triple with just under 16 minutes left in the game for a 50-49 contest.
Santa Clara would tie the game, but another slam from Oden in transition made it a 56-54 game for the Pokes with 13 minutes left on the clock. Kenny Foster would later hit a nice layup on a cut for a 64-61 lead halfway through the half.
Agbonkpolo would give Wyoming a 70-64 lead with seven minutes left in the contest. Santa Clara made it a two-point game on a layup with under five minutes left making it a 70-68 game. A three-pointer from the Broncos gave them a 75-74 lead with 1:31 left in game.
Oden answered with a three-pointer and made it a 77-75 game for the Pokes seconds later for the first triple of the half for the Brown and Gold. Santa Clara tied the game at the free throw line the game would head to overtime.
The teams would be neck and neck in the opening minutes of overtime with the Pokes taking an 83-81 lead on a no look layup with 2:44 remaining in overtime, but Santa Clara hit a three seconds later for the lead. Santa Clara took an 86-85 lead on the Pokes and used the offensive glass to remain with the ball with 18 seconds remaining and used freebies and a layup to take the game 89-85 in overtime.
Santa Clara was led by a pair of players. Carlos Stewart and Brandin Podziemski each netted 19 points.
The Pokes will return home for the first time in 20 days hosting Grand Canyon on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in the Arena-Auditorium in a contest on AT&T SportsNet and the Mountain West Network.