LARAMIE — Wyoming’s inside-outside senior combination of Leonard Washington and Luke Martinez proved too much for South Dakota.
Washington had 17 points on a variety of dunks, layups and 3-pointers along with 11 rebounds, while Martinez sank a career-high seven 3-pointers - on just nine attempts - and scored 21 points as Wyoming rolled over South Dakota 71-51 in the Global Sports Hoops Showcase on Thursday night.
“The guys found me tonight and thank God they were going in,” Martinez said. “As a shooter you just don’t stop shooting once you’re missing. If you feel it, you just let it go.”
Washington’s presence down low fueled the outside game, he said.
South Dakota coach Dave Boots felt his team actually played fairly well on defense.
“That kid (Martinez) shot over the top of us,” Boots said. “We missed him on a few cuts that he got open on and knocked them down. Washington is just so physical and stronger than our guys. That’s just a man playing in there. We’ve played him two years now, and we’ve had a tough time guarding him.”
Larry Nance Jr. rounded out Wyoming’s double-figure scorers with a career-high 12. Casey Kasperbauer had 12 to lead South Dakota (0-2), while Juevol Myles added 11 and Tyler Flack 10. Wyoming (3-0) led wire to wire and shot 46 percent while holding South Dakota to 30 percent.
The Cowboys broke to a 10-0 lead, and after the Coyotes drew within 14-10, Washington keyed a 9-1 Wyoming run with 4 points, three rebounds and a blocked shot. His NBA-length 3-pointer put Wyoming up 28-16 at the 5:40 mark of the first half and the lead never shrank below single digits after that.
Cowboys coach Larry Shyatt said it was his team’s best performance so far, including five exhibitions.
“I thought we shared the ball really well on offense, and I thought defensively we connected the dots,” he said. “We had a real focus.”
. There were mistakes made, but I didn’t think we ever dropped our level of focus.”
The widest lead was 66-42 after Riley Grabau’s trey with 4:19 remaining. Grabau played 32 minutes, dishing out a career-high six assists to go along with five points. He has yet to commit a turnover this season.
The four-team, round-robin tournament wraps up Friday with South Dakota playing North Carolina Central and Wyoming meeting Southern. In between, the Wyoming women host Denver.