Hunter Thompson matched a career-high with 25 points to lead four Cowboys in double figures, as Wyoming won their 2020-21 opener, 97-61, over Mississippi Valley State on Saturday.

Wyoming’s (1-0) victory made it a successful start to the Jeff Linder-era of Cowboy basketball.

Here are some of the highlights compliments of the University of Wyoming Athletics.

Thompson was 9-13 from the field and 5-7 from deep. He also had six rebounds.

There were a pair of strong debuts from two newcomers. Freshman Marcus Williams had 20 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds. He shot 8-12 from the field with one triple. Junior Drake Jeffries scored 19 points and made 6-15 from deep. He added a team-high 8 rebounds.

Hunter Maldonado chipped in 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists.

The Pokes jumped out to a 17-2 lead just over three minutes into the game and never trailed. Mississippi Valley State hung around with some three-pointers and pulled within 29-17 with 10:35 left in the first half. Wyoming responded with a 16-0 run and held the Delta Devils without a point for nearly five minutes.

It was 57-26 at halftime. UW shot 55.6 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes and went 9-19, 47.4 percent, from 3-point range. They had 13 assists on 20 made field goals in the first half.

Mississippi Valley State scored the first five points of the second half, but the Pokes answered with a quick 10-0 run over the next two minutes. Thompson knocked down a three, long two, and another triple, while Maldonado added a pair of free throws. That made it 67-31 with 16:47 left in the game.

The Delta Devils got no closer than 26 points the rest of the game.

Wyoming shot 52.2 percent for the game. They were 13-35 from 3 for 37 percent. The Cowboys had 24 assists on 35 made field goals. They also won the rebounding battle, 41-38. UW capitalized with 24 points off 17 turnovers by the Delta Devils.

Here is Wyoming head coach Jeff Linder, courtesy of the University of Wyoming Athletics, visiting with the media after the victory.

Mississippi Valley State (0-1) was led by Kam’Ron Cunningham with 24 points. Terry Collins added 13 points. They shot 37 percent from the field and went 9-29, 31 percent, from deep.

The Cowboys return to action on Monday against Texas Southern. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. in Laramie at the Arena-Auditorium.

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