Saint Louis ‘flipped the switch’ in second half of 79-69 victory over Wyoming

Saint Louis ‘flipped the switch’ in second half of 79-69 victory over Wyoming

CONWAY, S.C. (Nov. 16, 2023) – St. Louis broke open a tight game by shooting 58 percent from the field in the second half and holding Wyoming to 26 percent on the way to a 79-69 victory over Wyoming in the first round of the Myrtle Beach Invitational.

The Billikens (4-0) trailed 35-34 at halftime, and SLU coach Travis Ford admitted he “wasn’t happy” with what he had seen from his team.

“In the first half, we didn’t play our style of basketball,” Ford said. “We have to be a scrappy, gritty team to have a chance, and we weren’t that in the first half. But we flipped the switch from the first half to the second half on both sides of the ball. I’m really proud of our second-half effort.”

SLU held a 44-42 lead five minutes into the second half, then scored seven straight to build a nine-point cushion. Wyoming (2-1) stayed within single digits most of the rest of the way, largely on the strength of a 46-33 rebounding advantage that included 22 offensive boards. But the Billikens countered with a stifling defense that forced 19 turnovers (with 13 steals) and held the Cowboys to 3-for-21 shooting from 3-point range.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever given up 22 offensive rebounds,” Ford said. “But we only gave up three 3s, which was huge. If you don’t give up 3s, then usually something good will happen.”

Cam Manyawu posted a double-double for the Cowboys with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Caden Powell had 17 points and eight boards (seven offensive).

“I’m proud of the effort,” Wyoming coach Jeff Linder said. “The 22 offensive rebounds gave us a chance. But it’s hard to win when you just give it away 19 times. We haven’t turned the ball over like that in a long time. If you’re going to turn the ball over 19 times and allow the other team to shoot 57 percent in the second half, it’s going to be hard to win.”

Sincere Parker led SLU with 22 points and eight rebounds before leaving with an apparent ankle injury, and Tim Dalger added 17 points.