Laramie, WY – Leonard Washington filled the stat sheet with 14 points, 14 rebounds, five steals and two blocks as the Wyoming Cowboys took down No. 15 San Diego State, 58-45, at Arena-Auditorium on Saturday.
Larry Nance Jr. notched a double-double as well, finishing with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Derrious Gilmore followed with 13 points for the Cowboys (15-2, 2-2 MWC), who bounced back after scoring just 36 points in a loss to Fresno State on Wednesday.
The Aztecs (14-4, 2-2) dropped consecutive games for the first time this season, as they were unable to overcome an abysmal first half, where they scored just nine points.
"We got outfought. We didn't make shots, but that's going to happen," said Aztecs head coach Steve Fisher. "I can live with not making shots. But when you get outfought, and out-toughed and out-efforted, that's inexcusable. And it starts with me."
Jamaal Franklin led the team with 13, but shot just 3-of-14 and committed four of the Aztecs' 11 turnovers. Winston Shepard followed with 10 points in the defeat.
Both teams shot poorly in the first half, but San Diego State was exceptionally bad. In addition to hitting just 4-of-24 shots from the field, the Aztecs committed eight turnovers and failed to reach double-digits in scoring through the first 20 minutes.
"I would have to say in my 40 years of coaching it has to be one of the best defensive performances I've ever been involved with," said Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt. "I love this bunch of guys, and I'm just happy to be a small part of this team."
Despite their sluggish first half, the Aztecs trailed just 20-9 coming out of the break, but just never got into a good enough rhythm offensively.
They fell behind by 13 following Washington's 3-point play at the 8:30 mark, but came within 42-35 after Franklin and Chase Tapley each knocked down triples.
However, the Cowboys never let them come any closer.
Two Wyoming possessions later, Shepard fouled Gilmore from beyond the arc and was then called for a technical foul on the play, giving Gilmore four shots from the line. He sank three of the four shots and shortly after Nance buried a 3-pointer to create an 11-point spread for the Cowboys.
After Nance connected on a pair from the charity stripe less than 30 seconds later, Wyoming led by double digits the rest of the way.
Franklin did not score in the first half and was held under 20 points after accomplishing the feat in three straight games ... The Aztecs came in winners of five straight in the series between the two schools ... Wyoming shot 42.9 percent from the field for the game and connected on 18-of-27 from the free throw line.