No. 8 Arizona hands Pokes first loss, 94-65
* University of Wyoming Athletics media relations release
TUCSON, Ariz., -- The Wyoming Cowboys were handed their first loss of the season on Wednesday evening, falling to eighth-ranked Arizona, 94-65, inside the McKale Center. One of the nation’s top offensive outfits, Arizona shot 53 percent from the field to remain undefeated on the season.
“For our guys to feel what a Top-10 feels like, what a great lesson," UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “A team like that can put you on your heels. What you can’t simulate is the speed Arizona comes at you with and that will be important for us down the road.”
The Pokes recorded 14 turnovers in the game, which Arizona converted into 19 points. Arizona shot 39 percent from the beyond the arc the contest and recorded 11 threes, the most against the Cowboys this season. Wyoming shot 40 percent from the field, hitting 48 percent in the second frame and outscoring the Wildcats, 43-41.
Guard Xavier DuSell led the Pokes in his return to his home state, netting a career-high 22 points and hitting six threes. Forward Graham Ike added 17 points, as he has scored in double-figures in every game this season.
After Ike opened the contest with a bucket, the Wildcats responded with an 11-0 run over nearly three-and-a-half minutes for a 11-2 game. The Wildcats knocked down a trio of three pointers during the stretch.
The Pokes would record turnovers on back-to-back trips down the floor, as Arizona would knock down their fifth three pointer and add a pair of free throws to take a 21-6 lead with 14:24 left in the opening half. Wyoming held Arizona scoreless for two minutes to make it a 23-10 game thanks to layups from Drake Jeffries and Kenny Foster.
The Wildcats would add another scoring flurry this time of 8-0 to take a 33-13 lead with just over eight minutes left in the frame. Ike would power the Pokes with three-straight makes down the floor for a 37-20 game, but turnovers haunted the Pokes once again leading to a 6-0 run by Arizona, as the Cats rode the momentum into a 53-22 lead at the half.
The Pokes opened the second half 4-of-6 from the field, but the Wildcats responded shooting 57 percent for a 66-34 game in the first five minutes of the half. Jeffries would hit a three-pointer followed by two from DuSell for a 72-42 game near the 12-minute mark.
Both teams would trade baskets for the next five minutes with both teams shooting over 50 percent from the field. DuSell would continue to shine during the stretch adding two more triples for the Brown and Gold for an 82-54 game. Arizona would end up taking the contest 94-65.
Arizona was led by Bennedict Mathurin with 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Kerr Kriisa added 17 points going 5-of-10 from behind the arc.
The Cowboys return home on Saturday hosting Utah Valley in the Arena-Auditorium for an 8 p.m. start on the MW Network.
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