After a rough start to a busy stretch of games the Wyoming basketball team got a much needed victory and are now sitting at 2-2. In the last game of the home section of the Cancun Challenge the Pokes faced the Western Illinois Leathernecks (2-2). Western jumped out an early 11-6 lead but a resilient Cowboy team fought back for the win.
The Pokes had dropped two games in a row to Northern Colorado and North Florida. In the second loss the Pokes were without stars Desmar Jackson and Afam Muojeke who sat due to a one game suspension. Having those two back provided a big boost for the offense and defense tonight. Jackson had 13 points and four rebounds while Muojeke added eight points and five rebounds. Each player also contributed a couple steals.The biggest boost came from Djibril Thiam who came off the bench for the first time this year. Thiam struggled against North Florida so Schroyer started Brian Gibson and Amath M'Baye at the forward spots. Well the message was received as Thiam put 13 points and was the only Poke to find his game early on.
JayDee Luster started at PG despite Jackson returning to the lineup. Luster had a nice game with 7 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 30 minutes. Nice to the shortest guy on the team grab the most boards. Wyoming had 33 rebounds compared to 32 for Western, the Pokes had a big advantage by forcing 15 turnovers which they turned into 16 points. Wyoming had just 10 turnovers as a team.
The Cowboys now travel to Cancun to finish up the four game tournament. On Tuesday they face quite the task in the #15 Missouri Tigers. The Tigers dismantled North Florida on Saturday but only beat Western Illinois by five points on Thursday. On Wednesday they will face the winner of the LaSalle/Providence game. Both games will be televised on CBS College and the first time the Pokes have appeared on television this year.
Cowboy Joe: Djibril Thiam shot well from the field and the line tonight on his way to 13 points. It was a great way for him to bounce back. Also had three blocks to lead both teams.
Cowboy Low: Francisco Cruz didn't start for the first time in his career at Wyoming and didn't do much with his 13 minutes. Cruz was the only player that saw the court that didn't score. Grabbed three rebounds at least.
Cowboy Foe: Matt Lander led the Leathernecks with 12 points in addition to his five rebounds. Only WIU scorer in double digits.