LARAMIE – The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team had four players score in double figures, and despite missing 13 free throws, the Cowboys held off San Jose State for an 81-71 victory at The Event Center in San Jose, California, Wednesday night.
UW (7-23 overall, 3-15 Mountain West) won for the first time in 12 road games this season. It also snapped a season-high six-game losing streak.
The Cowboys are assured to be the No. 10 seed at next week’s Mountain West Tournament in Las Vegas. San Jose State will finish in last place in the MW regular-season standings, and fell to 4-25, 1-16.
Senior guard Justin James scored 25 points and became the fourth player in school history to score more than 2,000-career points. James also recorded his ninth double-double of the season and 16th of his career with 11 rebounds.
Junior guard Jake Hendricks added 20 points and was 6 of 10 from 3-point range. Junior guard A.J. Banks had 13 points and true freshman guard Trevon “T.J.” Taylor 10.
UW jumped out to a 17-3 lead with 13 minutes, 6 seconds to play in the first half. At one point Taylor scored 10 straight points. San Jose State later went on a 16-3 run, sparked by sophomore guard Noah Baumann’s 3-point shooting, and UW went scoreless for 5:25 to give up the lead.
The Cowboys got 3-pointers from James and Banks over the final 54 seconds of the first half and led 42-37 at halftime. It was only the fourth time this season UW led at halftime.
Both teams shot 50 percent from the field in the first half. UW was 8 of 16 from behind the arc, San Jose State was 7 of 15.
UW never relinquished the lead in the second half. San Jose State pulled to within 68-65, but a 3-pointer by Hendricks extended the lead to six with 2:26 to play.
The Cowboys were 16 of 29 from the free-throw line, but made seven of their last eight to finish the game.
Baumann led all scorers with 27 points, and was 7 of 14 from behind the arc. However, Baumann made only one 3-pointer in the second half. The Spartans shot 27 percent (10 of 37) and was 1 of 11 from 3-point range in the second half.
UW ends its regular season at 4 p.m. Saturday as it hosts New Mexico at the Arena-Auditorium.
James played in his 129th game for the Cowboys, which is tied for the fourth-most in school history. … Hendricks has made three or more 3-pointers in 10 of the 20 games he’s played in this season. … UW had four double-digit scorers for the first time since the Dec. 11 home game against Denver. … UW leads the series with San Jose State 16-2, has won eight in a row and three straight at San Jose State.