Justin James scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead Wyoming past Texas Southern 72-66 Saturday night in Laramie.

After Louis Adams gave Wyoming a 1-point lead, James came up with a key block on a 3-point attempt by the Tigers Demontrae Jefferson. Alan Herndon got the rebound and passed off to James, who was fouled and then sank two free throws with 12.5 seconds left for a 68-65 lead.

The Cowboys fouled on purpose with 10.1 remaining. Trayvon Bruce made the first, but missed the second on purpose. Hayden Dalton got the rebound, but stepped on the end-line.

Cody Kelley took a charge on Texas Southern’s Donte Clark with 4.2 seconds left. That resulted in three technical fouls called against the Tigers. Dalton made four-of-six free throws to seal it. It’s UW’s 20th consecutive win at home against a non-conference foe.

Wyoming (9-3) won despite 18 turnovers that led to 22 points for Texas Southern. The Cowboys shot 38.6 percent from the field. Herndon came up with 10 points and six rebounds, while Kelley had nine points, six rebounds and three assists. Hunter Maldonado added eight points and seven boards off the bench.

The Pokes did come up with 15 offensive rebounds that led to 26 second chance points. UW had a 47-37 edge in rebounding. For Justin James, this was his fourth double-double in the last five games. He tied his career-best in rebounding.

Texas Southern (0-11) was led by Jefferson with a game-high 27 points. He knocked down five 3-pointers. The Tigers shot 36 percent from the floor.

The game featured 12 lead changes and was tied nine times. Neither team led by more than eight points.

Each team had mini scoring spurts in the first half. A pair of Adams free throws and a three by James gave Wyoming a 27-22 lead. The Cowboys led 30-26 with two minutes left in the half. Texas Southern scored nine straight and held a 35-30 lead at the break.

A three-pointer by Robert Lewis put the Tigers up by their biggest margin of 38-30 just 30 seconds into the second half. UW quickly responded with eight straight on a Herndon lay-up, and three’s from Kelley and Maldonado. Neither team led by more than five the rest of the way. The final margin of 72-66 was the Pokes biggest lead all game.

The victory also made UW head coach Allen Edwards a winner on his 42nd birthday and in his 50th game at the helm.

Wyoming will conclude non-conference play Tuesday against Northern Colorado (8-3). The Bears beat Denver by 20, 83-63, last Wednesday, Dec. 13. That’s the same Denver team that beat UW earlier this year. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

More From 107.9 Jack FM