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WYOMING STORMS BACK FROM HALFTIME DEFICIT TO DEFEAT MENâ€™S BASKETBALL
LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Wyoming erased a 37-36 halftime deficit by opening the second half on a 20-4 run and eventually defeating Sacramento State, 93-70, in a non-conference men’s basketball game Saturday afternoon at the Arena-Auditorium.
After a three-pointer from the Hornets’ Antonio Flaggs in the last minute of the first half gave Sacramento State a 37-36 lead heading into halftime, Wyoming went on a 20-4 that spanned the first 6:26 of the second half to take a 15-point (56-41) lead with 13:34 remaining in the contest. Five different Wyoming players scored during the run, including seven points from Afam Muojeke.
Sacramento State pulled to within eight points (68-60) of the Cowboys lead with 7:55 left on the clock, but that was as close as the team would get the rest of the way. Wyoming outscored the Hornets, 57-33, in the second half and closed the final 7:41 on a 25-10 run to cap the 23-point margin of victory.
With the loss, Sacramento State dropped its fourth straight and fell to 1-9 overall and 0-7 on the road. In addition, the Hornets fell to 0-3 all-time against Wyoming as the two teams were playing each other for the first time since 1978. The Cowboys won their fourth in a row and improved to 9-1 overall. The Cowboys also now 7-0 on their home floor this season.
Wyoming shot 58.1 percent (18-31) from the field in the second half, and buried 5-of-10 from beyond the three-point line in the process. The team also went to the free throw line 22 times in the second stanza, burying 16 of those opportunities. Conversely, Sacramento State, which shot 41.4 percent (12-29) from the field in the first half, shot just 32.3 percent (10-31) in the second stanza. After the Hornets outrebounded Wyoming in the first half, 20-16, the Cowboys held a 26-16 advantage on the glass in the second half, including eight offensive boards.
Wyoming’s 93 points were the most scored by a Sacramento State opponent this season as the Cowboys had five players finish in double figures, including three with at least 20 points. Sean Ogirri led all players with 25 points, as he knocked down 7-of-13 from beyond the three-points line. Muojeke (20 points, nine rebounds) and Brandon Ewing (20 points, and a game-high 11 assists and four steals) also had 20-point games for the Cowboys. Djibril Thiam had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Wyoming finished the game shooting 50.0 percent (29-58) from the field, 40.0 percent (10-25) from the three-point line and 78.1 percent (25-32) from the charity stripe.
For Sacramento State, junior Antonio Flaggs (23) and senior Loren Leath (19) combined for 42 of the team’s 70 points. Flaggs’ 23 points were a season high as the shooting guard knocked down six three-pointers (in just nine attempts) and went 5-of-5 from the free throw line. Flaggs improved his season three-point percentage to .487 (19-39) and is now shooting 92.0 percent (23-25) from the free throw line as well.
Leath’s 19 points came on 8-of-19 shooting from the field before the fourth-year senior fouled out with 5:19 remaining in the contest. Leath now has 1,192 career points, and is just six shy of becoming Sacramento State’s scoring leader since the program joined the Div. I ranks in 1991-92.
No other Hornet had double figures as senior Randy Adams (eight points, five rebounds) and junior Jonathan Malloy (eight points, team-best three steals) both finished with eight. Junior Justin Eller had nine rebounds and two blocked shots, but finished 1-of-9 from the field and scored just five points. After remarkably going the first nine games of the season without a turnover, point guard Jared Stigall committed his first miscues of the season as the junior finished with four assists and two turnovers.
Sacramento State returns home for just its fourth home game this season when the team hosts George Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 23, at 7:05 p.m. Only three non-conference games remain before the Hornets open their Big Sky Conference portion of the schedule on Jan. 2 against defending league champions Portland State.
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