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Cowboy Basketball Snaps Skid in 61-53 Win at CSU Bakersfield

Derek Cooke, Jr.
Soph. forward Derek Cooke, Jr. goes up for a basket in a game against CSU Baskersfield earlier this season. The Cowboys beat the Roadrunners in California Wednesday night. (Photo by Townsquare Media)

Larry Nance Jr. scored 17 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds, and Derek Cooke Jr. added a career-high tying 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, as the Wyoming Cowboys picked up a 61-53 win at CSU Bakersfield Wednesday night in California. The Pokes led wire-to-wire to break their four-game losing streak, and beat the Roadrunners for a second time this season.

“Our guys stood the test defensively for 40 minutes tonight,” UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. “We know there are going to be times when we will be challenge offensively, but we didn’t let that affect our play on the other end tonight. Sometimes you can overlook people, especially a team that you beat earlier in the season. We knew it was going to be a different act on their floor tonight.”

After trailing by 16 early in the second half, CSUB pulled within four, at 54-50, with 1:28 left, but the Cowboys made 9-of-11 free throws down the stretch to seal the game.

Wyoming’s 14-0 record in non-conference action this season is the first time the Pokes have went posted an undefeated non-conference mark during the regular season since 1987-88.

Freshman guard Jason McManamen, from Torrington, also scored a career-high 10 points for his first game in double figures. UW got good play from its bench with 22 points and 61 minutes.

“We needed a bonus from our bench tonight,” Shyatt said. “[Jason] McManamen and [Derek] Cooke were absolutely fabulous at both ends of the floor for us.”

Wyoming (16-6) shot 42 percent (20-of-48) from the field and 27 percent (6-of-22) beyond the arc. They held CSUB to 38 percent (20-of-53) and just one three-pointer (1-of-10). The Cowboys also held an edge on the glass, as they out-rebounded the Roadrunners, 37-33.

CSU Bakersfield (8-15) was led by Stephon Carter with 20 points and 8 rebounds.

Wyoming held a lead of around 5 or 6 points for most of the first half. They used an 11-2 run over the final 5 minutes and opened up a 14-point advantage, 27-13, at halftime. The Pokes held the Roadrunners to just three baskets (3-of-22) for 13 percent in the first half and no three pointers (0-of-7).

The Cowboys open the second half of Mountain West Conference play at Boise State, as they look for some revenge against the Broncos. Game time on Saturday is at 6 p.m. You can listen to Wyoming men’s basketball on Y95 Country. Coverage will start at 5:30 p.m.

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