LARAMIE (AP) — On a day when Wyoming’s starting guards struggled from long range, Trey Washington III stepped up and delivered. The 5-foot-11 freshman sank 5 of 8 from 3-point range and scored a career-high 24 points to lead Wyoming over Western State 69-52 on Wednesday.
Washington was 8 of 11 from the floor and also had five rebounds and three assists in the final tuneup for Wyoming (9-4) before its Mountain West Conference opener Saturday at Nevada.
Washington credited his teammates. “They were looking for me, and I was like, pass it to me and I’ll knock it down,” he said.
Jordan Adams scored 16 and Mason Biddle added 12 for the Division II Mountaineers (0-10).
Riley Grabau’s 3-pointer with 10:15 remaining gave the Cowboys their widest lead at 53-30 before both coaches substituted freely the rest of the way.
Sparked by Washington, Wyoming used a 12-0 run midway through the first half to wipe out a 14-8 Western State lead, and the Cowboys never trailed again. Washington had a 3-pointer and a three-point play during the stretch. He would also hit a couple 3s in the closing minutes of the half to help Wyoming take control.
“The brightest spot was Trey Washington’s quick trigger,” Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt said. “I think people already know that I have no problem playing three point guards. We did it for 30 games last year and if somebody throws a zone at us . I have no problem playing (Josh) Adams and Grabau and Washington, and I think they have enough firepower that they can help us.”
Western State coach Mike Moskowitz said injuries have taken their toll and that his Mountaineers are better than their 0-10 mark would indicate.
“We had about 4 minutes in the first half and about 3 in the second half where they outscored us by about 10 and six and that was about the ball game,” he said. “Against teams like this you can’t give up unforced errors and easy buckets. Unfortunately we did during that time.”
The game featured a sibling rivalry: Jordan Adams, a Western State senior, and Josh Adams, a Wyoming sophomore. Jordan outscored his younger brother 16-8 but was only 1 of 8 from beyond the arc. Josh had a couple dazzling plays. A 360-degree dunk put Wyoming up nine, and two plays later he took a rebound and went coast-to-coast for a layup in traffic.
At times, the brothers were guarding each other.
“Great family, great kids,” Moskowitz said. “It was good for Jordan to play well in his last game against his brother.”
Said Josh Adams: “I just wanted to focus on Wyoming against Western State and that’s what we did today. We were able to play well, get some new looks out there and get that chemistry down.”
Wyoming outshot Western State 51 percent to 36 percent and had a 32-23 rebound advantage. Wyoming forced a season-high 19 turnovers while committing 13.