Junior guard Riley Grabau posted a career-high 20 points and junior forward Derek Cooke Jr. added a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds to propel the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team to a 70-53 win over South Dakota on Friday night in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys (4-1) led by 10 points midway through the second half, but crafted a 13-3 run over the next five minutes to take control of the game.




The Pokes were up 40-27 at halftime, but the Coyotes (0-3) started the second half with three-straight buckets to pull within seven points three minutes in. South Dakota would hang around through the midpoint of the half, before Wyoming started the deciding run with two threes from Grabau and one from redshirt senior Jerron Granberry. The spurt put the Pokes up 20, 60-40, with five minutes left and UW cruised from there.


Grabau’s career night came on 5-of-7 from the field, 4-of-5 beyond the arc and 6-of-7 at the free throw line, as he had no turnovers in 35 minutes of action. He is now shooting 57 percent from the field and 61 percent from deep for the season. Cooke posted the second double-double of his career, as he has double-figure rebounds in the last three games. Granberry notched his first career double-figure scoring game for Wyoming with 12 points.


Wyoming shot at least 50 percent from the field for the third-straight game with an even 50 percent (23-of-46) and added a season-high 53 percent (9-of-17) from beyond the arc. UW earned a 26-12 advantage in points in the paint and its bench scored 22 points for the fifth-straight game with at least 10. The Cowboy defense held USD to 31 percent (20-of-63) and 25 percent (6-of-24), respectively, for season lows for a UW opponent. Wyoming also didn’t allow a fast-break point for the fourth time this season.


The first half saw Wyoming build a nine-point lead through the first seven minutes, before South Dakota clawed back within two at 16-14. Granberry and redshirt junior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. would combine for Wyoming’s next 12 points, though, to push the Pokes ahead 28-15 with eight minutes left in the half. The Cowboys kept their foot on the gas pedal to take a 40-27 lead into halftime.


Grabau paced Wyoming with nine points in the first half, while Hankerson and Granberry added seven each. Junior forward Larry Nance Jr. and Cooke had six rebounds apiece and Nance added three assists. The Cowboys shot 48 percent (14-of-29) from the field and 45 percent (5-of-11) beyond the arc, while holding the Coyotes to 34 percent (9-of-26) and 23 percent (3-of-13), respectively. South Dakota outrebounded Wyoming 18-16, but committed eight turnovers to just four for the Pokes. The Cowboys claimed a 10-5 advantage in assists.


Wyoming continues its season at No. 8 Ohio State on Monday at 5 p.m. MT.