The Wyoming Cowboys did not disappoint their fans on opening night, defeating the Detroit Mercy Titans by a landslide, 85-47. The Cowboys did a good job on several fronts against the Titans. They were able to limit their turnovers, move the ball efficiently, get good looks, win the battle on the boards, and step up defensively.
The first game, little rust
It was clear in the Wyoming opener that the Pokes didn’t have a whole lot of rust to shake off. On display early, for the Pokes, was their efficient ball movement leading to open looks. Hunter Maldonado and Jeremiah Oden were building a strong connection early. Graham Ike’s scoring was on display all night long, as well as the long-distance shooting from Drake Jeffries.
The Pokes were able to hold the scoring threat of Guard Antoine Davis to a mere 16 points on 6-18 shooting, way below his scoring average of 24, from one season prior. Coach Linder gave a special shoutout to Xavier Dusell, who spent most of the night defending Davis, in his post-game press conference.
“The effort that X (Dusell) made to sit down and guard him...on the defensive end, he’s one of those guys who can really guard...His effort on Davis, he had to earn every single shot he got.”
Dusell’s defensive effort on Davis was a testament to the entire all-around effort from all the Cowboy players Wednesday night. The team shot well above 50% from the field, including 39% from three, only turning the ball over 6 times, while tripling their opponent’s assists, racking up 16 total. The Pokes coasted all night, never giving up their lead and at one point, leading the Titans by a massive 40 point margin. They’ll hope to continue that dominance in Wednesday’s matchup with the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions, in Laramie.
So who stood out?
G Hunter Maldonado - Maldonado recorded 19 points on 7-12 shooting while dishing out 9 assists to go along with his 6 rebounds. The Senior Guard from Colorado Springs was one of the most prolific playmakers on Wednesday, contributing in almost every facet.
F Graham Ike - Ike dominated in the paint all night long, leading the game with 22 points on 10-17 to go along with his 5 rebounds. His presence down low was felt immensely and controlled the pace of the game.
F Jeremiah Oden - Oden and Maldonado were what got the Pokes going in the early portion. Oden totaled 14 points on an extremely efficient 6-7 shooting.