Wyoming didn’t look like a team that was ready to win in the first half, but that was just half the story.
A second-half 48-point offensive explosion from the Cowboys let them cruise to an 81-57 win on their home floor in game two of the CBI finals series.
Portions of this game seemed more fueled by altitude and travel exhaustion than practice and execution, as neither team could get their legs under them in the first half. But Wyoming responded and put Coastal Carolina away, forcing a deciding game three on Friday night in Laramie.
Shooting was the story for the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. In the first half, they put together a split of 29 percent from the field, 15 percent from three, and just 50 percent from the foul line. Despite getting off nine more shots than Wyoming from the floor, the Chanticleers couldn’t convert on their opportunities. When Wyoming got hot on the second half, Coastal Carolina was left in the dust.
Wyoming sputtered out of the gate. The Cowboys couldn’t stop handing the ball to their opponents, tallying 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes. But once the Cowboys calmed down and settled into a rhythm, they cleaned up their game and combined an outside barrage with a commitment to getting to the foul line. They finished 12-31 from downtown and 19-24 from the stripe, dominating the second stanza of play to the tune of an 18-point advantage.
Justin James led the way for the Cowboys with 21 points and eight rebounds, while no Chanticleer scored more than 10.
The winner-take-all game three will tip off at 6 p.m. Eastern time on Friday.