Williams drops 30 in 83-61 win over DU
LARAMIE -- Freshman Marcus Williams tied a career-high with 20 points in the first half and finished the night with 30 to lead Wyoming past Denver 83-61 on Wednesday evening in the Arena-Auditorium.
Williams scored the most points in a game by a Wyoming freshman since Desmar Jackson scored 31 points at Utah in 2010. Wyoming tied a season-low allowing 61 points to improve to 4-1 on the season.
Williams' 20 points in the first half was the most in an opening frame since Justin James had 20 against New Mexico on March 9, 2019. He finished the game with a career-high three threes and career-best 10 field goals. Junior
Hunter Maldonado added 14 points for his 44th career game in double figures. He also led the Pokes with nine rebounds and added six assists. Reining MW Player of the Week Kenny Foster added 15 points for his fourth-straight double-figure outing, dating back to last season.
The Pokes forced a season-high 27 turnovers and scored 33 points off those miscues.
The last time an opponent committed at least 20 turnovers was East Tennessee State, recording 20 on Dec. 21, 2018. Wyoming shot 49 from the field for the night and held Denver to 40 percent. The Pioneers did finish the night with a 39-30 rebound advantage.
The Pokes added a pair of threes from Williams and Foster in the opening two minutes of the contest to take a 6-2 advantage. After the Pioneers knocked down a three, Hunter Thompson added an and-one play to make it an 11-5 game with 16:27 left in the first frame.
Wyoming would build the lead to 20-9 with 12 and half minutes left in the half with a 6-0 run lead by Kwane Marble II, Williams and Foster. Wyoming forced six turnovers from the Pioneers, building the lead to double digits.
The Pokes would maintain the double-digit lead halfway through the half with freshman Xavier DuSell scoring five-straight points and Williams going to the basket to get to double-figures for a 27-14 lead. But the Pioneers went on a 4-0 run to make it a nine point contest at 27-18 with under nine minutes left in the half.
Wyoming held the Pioneers without a field goal for over four minutes and built the lead to 39-20 using an 11-0 run and hitting 7-of-9 field goal attempts at one point. The run was highlighted by a triple from Williams, Maldonado and Foster.
The Cowboy offense would slow down, but took a 45-25 lead into halftime. Wyoming shot 53 percent from the field and forced the Pioneers into 17 turnovers.
The Pokes got off to a 7-2 run to open the second frame to build a 52-27 advantage. Williams scored a bucket and added assists to Maldonado and Foster. But the Pioneers countered with a 8-2 run led by Frank Ryder for 54-35 contest with 14:34 left in the game.
Freshman Jeremiah Oden recorded an alley-oop slam and junior Drake Jeffries added a triple followed by layup from Foster, as the Pokes built a 63-37 with 12 minutes left in the game. Ryder continued to cause problems in the paint for the Pokes, cutting Wyoming's advantage to 63-42 halfway through the second frame, as he got into double-figures.
The Pokes would maintain their 20-point advantage until a pair three-pointers by the Pioneers' Kobey Lam for a 73-57 contest with under five minutes to play. Wyoming answered with an 8-0 run and took the contest, 83-61.
The Pioneers were led Ryder with 12 points. Tristan Green led the team with seven rebounds. DU leading scorer Jase Townsend, who averages 20 points a game, was held to 10 on the night.
Wyoming hits the road once again this time heading to Utah Valley on Saturday for a 2 p.m. MT start.
- University of Wyoming press release