Justin James scored 21 points and grabbed 7 rebounds to lead the Wyoming Cowboys past UMKC 72-61 in the CBI Quarterfinals Monday night in Laramie.

Wyoming (20-14) held UMKC to 34 percent shooting for the game and 16 points below their season average.

The Cowboys had a 15-point lead with 8:14 to play after a James three-pointer. A 14-3 run by the Kangaroos got them within 64-60 with 3:41 left. UW made six three throws and got a pivotal drive and basket from James in the final 2:14 for the victory.

Alan Herndon made four of those free throws and finished with 14 points. Jason McManamen added 11 and Jeremy Lieberman chipped in 10 points and seven assists. The Pokes shot 49 percent for the game and went 10-23, 43.5 percent, from deep. It’s their 11th straight game with double figure three’s.

UMKC (18-17) was led by Dashawn King with 16 points. Kyle Steward added 15. The Roos’ leading scorer LaVell Boyd was held to 5 points on 1-12 shooting. UMKC did have a 38-34 edge on the glass. They also had 17 points off 13 Cowboys turnovers.

Wyoming jumped out 11-0 in the first 1:45 of the game. Their lead reached 19-4 just six minutes in. UMKC responded with a 19-6 spurt and pulled within 25-19 at the 8:55 mark. UW surged in front by double figures, but the Roos trailed by only six, 38-32, at halftime.

Boyd’s lone field goal, a three, had UMKC within 38-35 to start the second half. The Cowboys scored nine straight points and pushed their advantage to 47-35 four minutes in. The teams traded baskets before UW extended to the 61-46 lead.

With this victory, the Pokes achieved 20-wins in a single-season for the 22nd time in school history. Coach Edwards is only the second UW head coach to reach that plateau in his first season. He joins Benny Dees, who won 26 games in his first season back in 1987-88.

Wyoming advanced to the CBI semifinals, where they will host Utah Valley Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in Laramie.

More From KOWB 1290