Pokes rally for overtime win at Washington, 77-72
* University of Wyoming athletics media relations release
SEATTLE -- The Cowboys used a 9-0 run in the closing minutes of regulation and outscored the Washington Huskies 12-7 in overtime on their way to a 77-72 road win in Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle on Thursday evening. Forward Graham Ike and guard Hunter Maldonado combined for 50 points in the game, as Wyoming moves to 3-0 under Jeff Linder in overtime.
“It was a back-and-forth game,” Linder said. “We went on a run, then they would. I thought the game plan was right. This team defends and that is how you win on the road. It was a great team effort. To come out and show some toughness against a team with talented players and our defense won us the game.”
Ike led the Cowboys with 26 points for his third 20-point game of the season. He also added 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. Maldonado added 24 points for his 10th career game with 20 or more points. It also marked his seventh career double-double adding 10 rebounds. It marked the first time since Jan. 31, 2018 that two players had a double-double in a game as Justin James and Alan Herndon did so against Colorado State.
Maldonado also went over 500 career rebounds in the game becoming the third Cowboy along with Fennis Dembo and Justin James to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists. Guard Xavier DuSell added 15 points for the Pokes.
“When you build character that shows in game like this,” Linder said. “We have high level of character in our kids. We did a good job of attacking the zone early. We made them pay for playing small and Graham and Maldonado did the rest. To be a good team you have to win on the road. Credit to the guys and the staff.”
Wyoming once again was very defensive holding Washington to 32 percent from the field. Wyoming have held teams to their lowest totals in the opening three games in the Linder era. Wyoming shot 46 percent from the field, but only connected on three triples. The Pokes also had a 47-45 on the glass.
The Huskies used the three ball to build an 8-4 advantage in the opening two and a half minutes of play, as Washington hit a pair of threes. The Pokes battled back and took their first lead of the game on a three from Maldonado for a 12-10 advantage five minutes into the game, as it was a part of a 6-0 run.
Ike extended the lead to 15-10 at the 12:36 mark of the half with an and-one play to cap a 9-0 run that saw Wyoming hold the Huskies scoreless for nearly five minutes. The Huskies were held without a field goal for over seven minutes building a 20-11 advantage halfway through the frame.
The Pokes went scoreless for nearly three minutes, as the Huskies cut the advantage to 24-19 with a pair of buckets, but Maldonado added a bucket to halt the slide. But Washington kept charging and made it a two-point game at 26-24 with a three ball with 4:34 left in the opening stanza.
Washington took a 27-26 lead at the 4:01 mark of the half on a three-pointer from Daejon Davis. Ike would give the Pokes a 30-19 advantage with 90 seconds remaining in the half with Maldonado adding another bucket 30 seconds later. Wyoming would take a 34-31 lead into the half, as Ike recorded 17 points in the frame.
The Pokes needed three and a half minutes to get their first bucket of the second half, a jumper from DuSell for a 36-32 lead. Jeremiah Oden would make it a 38-32 game at the line, as Wyoming held Washington scoreless for over three minutes until a layup by the Huskies made it a 38-34 game with 14:44 left in the game.
The Huskies would use an 8-0 over nearly two minutes to tie the contest at 42-42 with 11:24 left to play, Ike stopped the run to give the Pokes a brief lead. DuSell hit a fade away three-pointer to give Wyoming a 47-44 lead, but the Huskies would take the lead on a put back for a 48-47 game with 9:14 remaining.
The contest would turn into a back-and-forth affair until Terrell Brown Jr. powered the Huskies to a 58-54 lead with just under seven minutes remaining. A pair of free throws from Emmitt Matthews Jr. made it a six-point game a minute later.
Wyoming built a 71-67 lead in the opening minutes of overtime thanks to buckets by Maldonado, Oden and freebies from Ike. The big man would make it a six-point game with 2:57 left with layup after an offensive board
DuSell would knock down a triple for a 62-58 Washington lead with 4:55 left in the contest. Guard Drake Jeffries would hit a pair of free throws for his first points of the game to make it a two-point contest at 62-60 with 3:12 left in the game.
Maldonado tied the contest with a layup with 1:54 left in the game for a 62-62 contest. Ike would give Wyoming a lead on a layup with 1:03 left in the game. But Brown for the Huskies answered right back with a and-one play to give Washington the lead right back at 65-64 with 44 ticks of the clock remaining. Ike would make a freebie late and the game would go to OT tied at 65-65.
Wyoming used an early run in overtime to build a 73-67 lead thanks to buckets from Maldonado and Jeremiah Oden and freebies from Ike. But the Huskies would once again battled back within three points, but the Pokes would get it done late for 77-72 win.
Brown Jr. led the Huskies with 30 points. Jamel Bey was the only other player in double-figures with 10 points.
The Cowboys return to action on Monday heading to Grand Canyon in a 7 p.m. start on ESPN+.
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