The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team beat the University of South Carolina 73 – 64 this Wednesday, Dec. 5 at the Arena Auditorium in Laramie.
The Cowboys were led by senior Justin James who had 20 points and 12 rebounds. This was James’ fourth double-double this season. He was followed by junior Jake Hendricks, who had 16 points, and freshman TJ Taylor, who had 11 points.
“I thought this was a very smart performance by us,” head coach Allen Edwards said. “And I thought we did a great job adjusting a little bit on the fly, defensively and offensively. I also thought we had some great leadership out there from J. J. (Justin James).”
South Carolina opened the game quick with an 8 – 0 run. This was shut down with two three-pointers, one from Hunter Thompson and Hunter Maldonado. From there South Carolina went on a seven point run, leaving them up 15 – 6 with 11:45 remaining in the half.
“We tried limit as many open layups and dunks as possible,” Justin James said. “We tried to make them take those tough two’s. And when they take those tough two’s, getting on those rebounds.”
South Carolina continued to lead throughout the first half, ending the half up 37 – 33 on the Cowboys.
“I think I took better shots this time,” Jake Hendricks said. “They found me when I was open and I had my feet set on most of them. And when I have my feet set I’m a pretty good shooter.”
The Cowboys came out ready to play in the second half, going on a 9 – 4 run in the first five minutes to take the lead at 42 – 41 with 15:34 remaining in the game.
“We just needed to keep the ball moving and eventually we’re going to find those shots,” James said. “We have confidence that we can beat anybody every time we step on the floor. We never have fear going into an opponent.”
After the Cowboys gained the lead they never looked back. They gradually pulled away from South Carolina in the second half outscoring them 40 – 27 to finish the game 73 – 64.
“Happy for our guys in the moment, but at the same time I told them it’s just one victory, not five,” coach Edwards said. “We still have to have the right mentality coming into practice and continue to get better.”
The Cowboys do not play again until next Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m., when they take on the University of Denver at home.
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