Hunter Maldonado scored 13 points to lead the Wyoming Cowboys to a 72-69 exhibition win over Colorado Christian Thursday in Laramie.

Three other Cowboys scored in double figures. Nyaires Redding finished with 12 points and four assists, while Jordan Naughton and Brandon Porter had 10 points apiece.

UW played without preseason All-Mountain West selection Justin James, as well as junior college transfers Jake Hendricks and A.J. Banks.

Wyoming utilized a 12-0 run midway through the second half to take control of the game. Maldonado started it with a three-point play at the 9:39 mark. Baskets from Naughton, Trevon Taylor, and Hunter Thompson helped UW stretch to lead to 51-43. It was capped by Brandon Porter’s three with 6:43 left.

With 2:01 left and the Pokes ahead 65-53, Colorado Christian made a surge. They knocked down four 3-pointers and a couple of other baskets and got within 71-69. Redding made one-of-two free throws with 5.6 seconds. The Cougars’ three-pointer at the buzzer was no good.

The players spoke about how shots fell more in the second half, but how they also needed a better defensive performance.

Wyoming shot 45 percent for the game. It was a contrast in halves. The first half the Cowboys hit only 30 percent from the field. The second half it was nearly 57 percent. UW was only 5-19, 26 percent, from deep. They went 19-31, 61 percent, at the free throw line. Wyoming also forced 17 turnovers.

Colorado Christian was led by Jeremiah Hanson with 18 points. The Cougars shot 43 percent and made 12-28 from three. They also had a 43-32 edge in rebounding.

Head coach Allen Edwards spoke about what he took away from the game moving forward and how they kept it really ‘vanilla’ with their overall play.

Neither team shot the ball well in the first half. The Cougars hit 36 percent from the field, while Wyoming struggled at 30 percent. Colorado Christian made six 3-pointers in the first half, which helped them to a 26-24 halftime lead.

The Cowboys officially open the 2018-19 season versus UC Santa-Barbara Tuesday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. in Laramie.

More From My Country 95.5