King of the Mountain: Jeffries breaks league record with 11 3-pointers
LARAMIE -- Drake Jeffries showed up to his postgame interview with a white hardhat on, a Steamboat sticker on each side.
The Wyoming coaching staff gives it out to the hardest worker in each game.
Or as Jeffries puts it, the guy who does the dirty work.
The junior guard from Mattoon, Illinois can always be counted on to make the hustle plays. He dives on the floor for loose balls and is always active on the glass. Friday night, he still did those things. Only this time, he added a new school record 11 3-pointers in a 108-59 rout of Hastings College.
Jeffries passed Josh Adams (2016-vs. Colorado State) and Mo Alexander (1991-vs. New Mexico) who each sank nine in a game.
Jeffries, who finished with a career-high 33 points, now also owns the best single-game performance in Mountain West Conference history, too.
He one-upped New Williams (Fresno State), Braxton Huggins (Fresno State), Kendall Williams (New Mexico) and Jeff Elorriaga (Boise State). That foursome all hit 10 in a game.
"It means the world," he said. "You know, it's just all the work that I put in -- it's finally paid off. You know, every day shooting, getting shots up and working with the coaches."
As a team, the Cowboys sank 28 from deep, shattering the previous program record of 20 and tying the NCAA's single-game mark that has been held by Troy since 1994. It took the Trojans 74 shots to accomplish that. Wyoming attempted 54.
For Jeffries, the most triples he's ever drilled in a game was seven. That came during his sophomore season in high school. He was on the junior varsity team.
"Eleven is crazy to me," he joked.
Jeff Linder gave Jeffries plenty of props after this one, but was quick to slip in the fact that he has had other players make more threes in a game.
Emporia State's Thomas Vincent nailed 16 triples in a 120-89 win over Southwest Baptist in Linder's final season as an assistant in Kansas. Wyoming's head coach said Jeffries performance is still fourth on the list of players he's coached in terms of made threes in a game.
“Drake is a really good shooter and when he gets going like that he can really make shots,” Linder said. “Our guys did a good job of feeding the hot hand. I thought it was really good for him to see the ball go in like that.
"... For him to have the Mountain West record and the school record, that's a credit to him and credit to our guys who found him."
Jeffries, a junior college transfer from Indian Hills Community College (Iowa), was one of the top 3-point shooters in the game. He connected on 86 of those during the 2019-20 campaign. When it came to conference play, Jeffries just got better, pumping his average beyond the arc from 45% to 47.
Through five games this fall, he's averaging 13 points per game and adding nearly seven rebounds. As far as his shooting from distance, Jeffries has now netted 20 of his 35 attempts.
Friday night, Jeffries was pulled from the game with 4:20 remaining. The crowd inside the Arena-Auditorium gave him a well-earned standing ovation as he made his way to the home bench.
That was special.
So is the plastic helmet he brought with him postgame.
"I mean, construction crew, man. You're doing dirty work," he said with a smile. "It means the world that it's my first ever hardhat. I'm just super excited to get it."
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