SEATTLE (AP)Graham Ike scored a season-high 26 points, Hunter Maldonado added 24 points, and Wyoming pulled away in overtime for a 77-72 win over Washington on Thursday night.
Ike was dominant in the first half before foul trouble caused him to sit much of the second half. But his free throw with 28 seconds left in regulation tied the game 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 the Mountain West, to win a Mountain West championship, you have to go on the road in hostile environments against good teams and find a way to win,” Wyoming coach Jeff Linder said. ”It wasn’t pretty. but it’s never going to be pretty and we’ve got to find a way to win and I thought that’s 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 it in regulation when his driving runner in the final seconds rolled off the rim.
But Brown was seemingly the entirety of Washington’s offense. Jamal Bey added 10 points but was the only other Washington player in double figures. Washington was also 1 of 6 at the free-throw line in overtime and shot 32 percent for the game.
Washington (2-2) was seeking its first three-game win streak since early in the 2019-20 season.
”We did everything that we believed we had to do to win,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. ”We fouled a little bit too much and I know we didn’t take all great shots, but for the most part we’re going to have to make some more. That’s just what it is.”
Ike scored 17 in the first half, but picked up his third foul less than two minutes into the second half. He returned with 11:38 left and went to the bench again after picking up his fourth foul on a charge with 10:12 remaining.
Wyoming withstood the Huskies during Ike’s first stint on the bench, but couldn’t hold off Washington’s charge with the Cowboys post presence a spectator.
Washington took its first lead of the second half on a tip-in by Nate Roberts with 9:14 remaining. Washington pushed the lead to 60-54 with 5:50 remaining when Ike finally returned to the floor.
That’s when the Huskies went cold, missing some wide open looks and the Cowboys pulled even with 1:54 left on Maldonado’s driving basket. Cole Bajema missed an open 3 for Washington – the Huskies sixth straight miss – and Ike scored inside for a 64-62 lead with 1:02 left.
Brown converted a three-point play to put the Huskies ahead 65-64 with 44 seconds left and Ike split free throws to tie the game and force the extra session.
Wyoming went to a zone defense in the closing minutes and it seemed to fluster the Huskies.
”Watching their first three games, in the last 10 minutes they just put their head down and drove and lived in the paint,” Linder said ”So I knew we had to kind of change it up, keep them out of the paint.”
Wyoming: The Cowboys won despite shooting on 3 of 16 on 3-pointers. Wyoming shot 40% on 3-pointers in its first two games combined. The Cowboys were 24 of 43 on shots inside the arc.
Washington: The Huskies remain woefully inconsistent at the offensive end. Washington went a stretch of the first half missing 13 consecutive shots and 15 of 16, and then had the cold stretch at the end of regulation with a chance to pull away. The Huskies must find easier ways to get baskets, whether through defensive transition or better offensive sets.
Wyoming: The Cowboys are at 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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