CONWAY, S.C. (Nov. 17, 2023) – Wyoming guard Sam Griffin scored 22 second-half points on 6-of-7 shooting, including a trio of 3-pointers, to help the Cowboys emerge with a hard-fought 67-60 victory over College of Charleston in the second round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational.
Griffin had only two points at halftime, but finished with a game-high 24 thanks to stellar shooting and a 7-for-7 showing from the free-throw line.
“I challenged Sam to go from being a guy who can make baskets to being a guy who can help a team win games,” Linder said. “He really stepped up. He just had that right look.”
The Cowboys (4-0) won the game despite committing 22 turnovers and allowing Charleston to haul in 23 offensive rebounds. They overcame those numbers by hounding the Cougars (1-3) into 7-of-37 shooting (18.9 percent) from 3-point range.
“To have 22 turnovers and give up 23 offensive rebounds and still find a way to win, the only way you can do that is by getting stops,” Linder said. “It just shows the collective grit and toughness of the team.”
There were 13 lead changes and 10 ties in the game, and neither team led by more than six points until a late surge by the Cowboys briefly pushed the lead to as much as eight. In fact, the margin was three points or less for approximately 32 of the game’s 40 minutes.
“It was two tough teams that competed their butts off,” Charleston coach Pat Kelsey said. “Two teams that pride themselves on rebounding and toughness went toe-to-toe and didn’t back down. It was a good college game.”
Ben Burnham led Charleston with 19 points and eight rebounds, but the rest of the team combined to go 16-of-54 from the field (29.6 percent). The Cougars also went 3-for-25 from 3-point range in their opening-round loss to Vermont.
“It’s a make-or-miss game. Sometimes it goes in, sometimes it doesn’t,” Kelsey said. “But we have really good shooters who work on their craft every single day. The ball falling in will happen.”