(UW Athletics release)
CORVALLIS, Ore. – A 13-2 run by the Pokes with six minutes remaining carried Wyoming to a 75-66 road win over Oregon State in Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore., on Monday evening. The Pokes, who trailed by six points in the second half improve to 2-0 on the season with the Beavers falling to 1-1.
“I thought we showed some growth tonight,” Edwards said. “I thought it was a back-and-forth game, we really fought back and took the lead in the second half. Within that whole process I thought we stayed the course and stayed within the game plan. When we extended the lead, we need to eat some time and move the basketball and we did a nice job of that.”
The Cowboys trailed 59-58 with 6:20 remaining, but an 11-2 run lead by six points from junior guard Justin James and five from senior forward Alan Herndon put the Pokes in the driver seat, as UW won their first contest at a PAC-12 opponent since the 2011-12 season, when UW beat Colorado.
“Some of the goals we have as a team is winning on the road,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said. “To come on the road early in the season against a very good Oregon State team and be able to walk away with the win is a good step for this program.”
Herndon recorded 16 points tying a career-high with four three pointers. He also recorded a career-best six blocks, the most for a Poke since Larry Nance, Jr. recorded six against New Mexico on Jan. 8, 2014.
“I have always been complimentary of Alan (Herndon) on his ability to play on the defensive end of the floor,” Edwards said. “Where he needed to grow on the offensive end of the floor was his ability to be assertive. When you put both those together he can be a special player.”
Senior Hayden Dalton led all scorers with 22 points on the night. He went 7-of-10 from the field with four three pointers. He led the Pokes with nine rebounds on the night. James added 19 points for the Cowboys including going 7-of-11 from the free throw line.
Wyoming moves to 22-1 when leading at the half under Edwards. The Pokes shot 51 percent from the field going 26-of-51. Defensively, UW held OSU to 41 percent from the field. The Cowboys held the advantage on the glass 35-33.
The Pokes got out to an early 6-2 lead thanks to four points from James. The Preseason All-Mountain West selection doubled his point total from the opening game of the season in that span, as he played only 13 minutes against Chattanooga. He played 29 minutes against the Beavers.
The Pokes extended the lead to 12-7 thanks to freshman guard Hunter Maldonado. After James scoring surge, Maldonado scored added six points to help the Pokes maintain their advantage. He also found Herndon on a lob dunk that was Wyoming’s first flush of the season.
A 6-0 run by Oregon State gave the Beavers their first lead of the game at 13-12 at 11:44 mark of the first half. The Pokes were dominating the glass through the first ten minutes of the contest with a 15-4 advantage. That momentum helped Wyoming to solid transition basketball and hot shooting from the hand of Dalton making it a 23-18 game with eight minutes remaining in the half. He finished the first stanza with 16 points.
Dalton and Herndon hit triples to advance the UW lead to nine points at 31-22 with a little over five minutes remaining in the half. The Pokes held off Oregon State late in the frame to take a 40-36 advantage into the half. Alfred Hollins hit a three pointer to close the stanza for the Beavers.
A 7-0 run to open the second half gave the Beavers a 43-40 lead. Oregon State, who shot 42 percent from the field in the opening half connected on their first four shots of the second period to build a 48-43 lead into the first media timeout of the half.
The Pokes battled back to within one point at 48-47, but the Beavers held the Pokes scoreless for nearly five minutes to build a lead of six at 53-47. The Pokes battled back with a 7-3 run to take a 61-58 lead with a little over six minutes remaining. James added four-straight points to lead the surge for UW.
Herndon heated up with his fourth triple of the game and a dunk to build at Pokes lead of 66-60 with 4:44 remaining in the contest. James added four points late, as UW took the 75-66 win.
Oregon State was led by forward Tres Tinkle. He recorded a double-double with 20 points and 14 rebounds. Fellow forward Drew Eubanks added 17 points going 6-of-9 from the field.
The Cowboys take a brief break before heading to the Cayman Islands to face South Dakota State in the opening game of the Cayman Islands Classic. Tip is set for 12:30 p.m.