SEATTLE (AP) – Graham Ike scored 26 points, a season record, Hunter Maldonado added 24 points and Wyoming retired in overtime for a 77-72 victory over Washington on Thursday night.
Ike was dominant in the first half before foul issues forced him to sit for much of the second half. But his free throw with 28 seconds left in regulation tied the score at 65-65 and helped force overtime. Ike scored four points early in the extra session as the Cowboys (3-0) built a six-point lead and held on.
“For us, if you want to compete in the upper half of Mountain West, to win a Mountain West Championship, you have to hit the road in hostile environments against good teams and find a way to win,” said Jeff Linder, Wyoming coach. noted. “It wasn’t pretty. but it will never be pretty and we have to find a way to win and I thought that was what we did.
Terrell Brown Jr. scored 21 of his 30 points in the second half and overtime for Washington. Brown missed a chance to win in regulation when his driver behind the wheel slipped off the rim in the dying seconds.
But Brown was apparently the entirety of Washington’s offensive. Jamal Bey added 10 points but was the only other Washington player to post a double-digit record. Washington was also 1 in 6 at the free throw line in overtime and shot 32% for the game.
Washington (2-2) was looking for its first three-game winning streak since the start of the 2019-20 season.
“We did everything we thought we had to do to win,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “We made a few too many mistakes and I know we didn’t have all the good shots, but for the most part we’ll have to make more. It’s just what it is.
Ike scored 17 in the first half, but committed his third foul less than two minutes after the start of the second half. He came back with 11:38 to go and returned to the bench after committing his fourth foul on a charge with 10:12 remaining.
Wyoming held off the Huskies on Ike’s first pass on the bench, but couldn’t hold back Washington’s charge with the Cowboys after a spectator was present.
Washington took their first lead of the second half on a Nate Roberts tip-in with 9:14 to go. Washington pushed the lead to 60-54 with 5:50 remaining when Ike finally came down.
That’s when the Huskies turned chilly, lacking wide open looks and the Cowboys tied with 1:54 left on Maldonado’s driving basket. Cole Bajema missed an open 3 for Washington – the Huskies’ sixth consecutive failure – and Ike scored inside for a 64-62 lead with 1:02 remaining.
Brown converted a three-runner game to give the Huskies the 65-64 lead with 44 seconds left and Ike split the free throws to tie the game and force the extra session.
Wyoming went for a zone defense in the dying minutes and it seemed to confuse the Huskies.
“Watching their first three games, in the last 10 minutes they just put their heads down and drove and lived in the paint,” Linder said. “So I knew we had to sort of change things, keep them out of the paint.”
Take it away
Wyoming: The Cowboys won despite shooting 3 of 16 3-pointers. Wyoming shot 40% on 3 points in their first two games combined. The Cowboys were 24 of 43 on shots inside the arc.
Washington: The Huskies remain woefully inconsistent on the offensive side. Washington had a first-half streak missing 13 straight and 15 of 16 shots, then had the cold streak at the end of the settlement with a chance to walk away. The Huskies need to find easier ways to get baskets, whether it’s through a defensive transition or better offensive sets.
Wyoming: The Cowboys are at the Grand Canyon on Monday.
Washington: The Huskies face George Mason at the Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, next Monday.
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