LARAMIE, Wyo.—The shots weren't falling and Wyoming found itself struggling against a team it had beaten by 28 points on the road. The halftime adjustment: get the ball inside to Leonard Washington.

Washington, known as "The Boss", spurred a second-half surge by the Cowboys and finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds as Wyoming stayed unbeaten with a 56-40 win over UC Santa Barbara on Friday night.

Washington scored his team's first eight points after intermission, helping erase a 25-24 deficit and allowing Wyoming (12-0) to match the school record for victories to begin a season. The 1950-1951 squad was the only other to start 12-0.

"I told them, 'You know, you now have got yourself a record you're a part of,'" Cowboys coach Larry Shyatt said. "But I said, 'Is anybody here satisfied, because you've got an older, greedy coach.' And I don't think they felt that they were satisfied."

Luke Martinez added 14 points for Wyoming.

For the Gauchos, Alan Williams scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Kyle Boswell added 13 points.

Wyoming jumped to a 15-6 lead, but UC Santa Barbara (4-7) closed within 24-23 at intermission.

The Gauchos took their only lead on an 18-foot jumper by Taran Brown early in the second half. Washington then went to work inside, and a minute later he put Wyoming back on top for good with two free throws. The lead reached 55-33 after Washington's 17-foot jumper with 4:36 to play.

Brown was averaging 13.6 points per game but finished with only four points and three rebounds in his return to his home state.

"We got tired, man," he said. "That elevation kicked our butt. It really did."

The Cowboys are the only unbeaten, unranked team, a distinction that Washington brushed aside.

"If you ask me, I think we're the No. 1 team in the nation," he said. "Of course, you have to peek at the polls a little bit. But it's just something that we're not in control of, so we just have to keep coming out night in and night out and doing the things that we do."

UC Santa Barbara coach Bob Williams agreed.

"We are at 7,200 feet, and it looked like it during (Washington's) 8-0 run," he said.

The Gauchos were shooting 36 percent from 3-point range coming in but finished 1 for 13.