Pokes tie NCAA record for threes in 108-59 win over Hastings
* University of Wyoming athletics media relations release
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowboys tied an NCAA record by draining 28 three-pointers in a 108-59 win over Hastings College on Friday evening in the Arena-Auditorium. The last time an NCAA squad hit 28 threes in a game was Troy against George Mason on Dec. 10, 1994.
Guard Drake Jeffries hit 11 in the game to break the school and Mountain West record.
The 28 threes by the Pokes broke the previous school record of 20 against Utah State on Feb. 16, 2016. It also broke the MW record of 23 by Fresno State on Jan. 4, 2020.
Jeffries 11 three pointers broke the school record held by Josh Adams, as he hit nine at Colorado State on Feb. 20, 2016. The previous MW record was held by four players, as New Williams was the last player to hit 10 in a game doing so against San Jose State on Jan. 4, 2020.
“First, I want to thank those seven kids from Hastings who came and played tonight,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “Hastings had some issues with some of the testing protocols for us, so they didn’t have their full team here, and I feel bad for their coach. But their kids who played tonight played really, really hard and credit to them.
“For our guys, I was honest with them before the game and told them it was going to be more of a mental game. We started out a little slow and a little sluggish, but we kind of had to take what they gave us. They tried to pack it in, and when you have guys like we have who can make shots not just take shots you end up with a game like this. As the game went on we picked up our intent and our intensity and that’s what I talked with our guys about at halftime was there wasn’t enough intent and intensity on the defensive end and that’s why they (Hastings) shot 50 percent in the first half.”
Jeffries added a career-high 33 points in the game for the most since Justin James scored 36 points against Colorado State on Feb. 9, 2019.
He was 11-of-17 from behind the arc and he also added seven rebounds. Guard Xavier DuSell added 20 points for his second 20-plus scoring game of the season. Forward Graham Ike added 14 points and 10 rebounds for his second career-double-double. Forward Hunter Thompson added 15 points for a season-high, as he hit five triples on the night.
“Drake (Jeffries) 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, and I thought it was really important for X (Xazier DuSell) to see the ball go in and for (Hunter) Thompson to see the ball go in, being that those guys early on this season haven’t shot the ball like they’re capable of shooting it.”
The Pokes shot 54 percent from the field for the night and shot 52 percent from behind the arc. Hastings College shot 44 percent from the field and 36 percent from deep. Wyoming forced 17 turnovers with 10 steals. Wyoming scored 15 points off turnovers and had 15 points on nine offensive boards.
Early turnovers by the Cowboys led to a 7-3 lead for Hastings College. But the Pokes answered with back-to-back threes from DuSell and Jeffries for a 9-7 lead for the Cowboys with 17:05 left in the first half.
Hastings would hit 4-of-5 field goals to make it a 17-17 game with under 13 minutes left in the first half. DuSell hit his fourth triple of the night to make it a 20-17 game for the Pokes seconds later. The following two trips down the floor the Pokes added triples from Thompson and Wenzel.
The three-point barrage continued as Thompson added two more with one from Jeffries for a 38-23 lead with eight minutes left in the half. Ike hit his first career three-pointer to give Wyoming a 46-31 lead with five minutes left in the half.
The Pokes would go on 9-0 run to close the second half to take a 55-33 lead at the break. Wyoming hit 15 threes in the first half shooting 50 percent from behind the arc. The Broncos shot 50 percent from the field in the opening half but had 10 turnovers.
The Cowboys used a 12-0 run in the early part of the second half to build a 72-37 lead. The Pokes used a trio of triples early in the frame to pace the run.
Jeffries would then catch fire for the Pokes knocking down five threes in a six-minute span to help the Cowboys build a 98-51 lead with just under six minutes left. Guard Kenny Foster also added some scoring in his first action of the season.
Forward John Grigsby knocked down the Pokes’ 28th triple of the night for his first career points with 1:54 left in the game and the Pokes came up with the 108-59 win.
The Broncos were led by Mathais Nchekwube with 19 points. Guard Evan Kingston added 14 points going 6-of-9 from the field.
The Cowboys return to action on Monday heading to Cal State Fullerton in an 8 p.m. start on ESPN+.
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