Defensive-minded Wyoming opens Diamond Head action against Stanford


Defensive-minded Wyoming opens Diamond Head action against Stanford

Wyoming and Stanford rekindle a rivalry 41 years later when the Western teams head even further west across the Pacific Ocean for a first-round clash of the Diamond Head Classic Wednesday afternoon in Honolulu.

The eight-team event continues Thursday, with the winner of Wyoming-Stanford taking on the winner of northern Iowa-Liberty. The two losers will also face each other.

BYU, South Florida, Vanderbilt and Hawaii round out the pack.

The trip takes place between two home games for the Cowboys (9-1), whose only loss came on the road to a Pacific-12 Conference team – Arizona, sixth in the standings – earlier this this month.

Wyoming rebounded to manage Utah Valley 74-62 at home on Saturday, with Utah transfer Brandan Wenzel contributing 12 points off the bench.

Wenzel insisted it wasn’t Wyoming’s offense that led to the searing record this season.

“(Defense) has been mentioned every day in training,” he said of the team’s focus this season. “It’s just about developing these habits to focus on what you need to work on every day in training.”

In addition to giving Arizona 94 points, the Cowboys have held all of their opponents to less than 70 points in regulation. The other team to score over 66 was Washington, another Pac-12 opponent, who fell to Wyoming 77-72 in overtime on November 18.

Meanwhile, Stanford (6-4) held then-17th Texas at 60 points in a game in Las Vegas on Sunday, but couldn’t muster enough points to avoid a seven-point loss.

The Cardinal was injured with 22 turnovers which the Longhorns turned into 23 points. Stanford also only scored 4 of 16 3 points in a 41.7% shooting effort.

Stanford coach Jerod Haase called the loss just a small bump on a long road.

“We lost to a very, very good, very talented basketball team,” he said. “I think they will qualify as an elite defensive team by the end of the year.”

Freshman Harrison Ingram led the Cardinal in loss with 15 points.

Long before any of the current players were born, Wyoming won the most recent head-to-head between schools, 73-51 at home in December 1980.

–Field level media

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