by staff–20 Jan ’16
The University of Wyoming men’s basketball team owned a 10-point lead against Nevada early in the second half, but the Wolf Pack clawed back to earn a 75-69 win on Wednesday night in the Arena-Auditorium. The Cowboys (10-10, 3-4 MW) suffered their seventh loss by single digits this season when the Wolf Pack (11-7, 3-3 MW) hit a three with 15 seconds left to ice the game.
“I thought this game was identical to about 18 of the 20 games we’ve played this year – a run here, a run there, ours to win, ours to lose,” UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. “We had six guys with the flu bug, and I’m proud that they gave it everything they had. I don’t think we played the perfect game, but we put ourselves in a position to win the game.”
With the scored tied 39-39 three minutes into the second half, the Pokes would rattle off a 10-0 run to go up 49-39 for their largest lead of the game. A flurry of technical fouls and a couple wild minutes helped Nevada craft a 12-1 spurt of its own that put the Wolf Pack back in front 51-50 midway through the half. The two teams would trade the lead multiple times down the stretch, as the game had 13 ties and 13 lead changes, before Nevada built a four-point advantage with two minutes remaining. The Pokes would cut the lead to two three times, but a Wolf Pack three with 15 seconds left put them up five and clinched their season sweep of Wyoming.
“I’ve got to give credit to Nevada,” Shyatt said. “Going into this game, they were last in the league in three-point shooting and they buried 7-of-14, and I think that in itself was the difference in the game.”
Senior guard Josh Adams finished a rebound shy of a double-double with 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists for his 14th 20-point effort this season. Junior guard Jason McManamen added 12 points, including three triples, and now has reached double-figure points in 10 of the last 11 games and made 13 threes in the last four contests. Sophomore forward Alan Herndon had nine points and tied a career-high with five assists, while sophomore forward Hayden Dalton snagged a career-high nine rebounds and sophomore guard Jeremy Lieberman accomplished the same with seven in a career-high 34 minutes.
Wyoming shot a season-worst 33 percent (20-of-60) from the field and just 28 percent (9-of-32) from deep and 71 percent (20-of-28) at the free-throw line. The 60 field-goal attempts and 32 threes attempted were both season highs for the Pokes. Nevada made 38 percent (24-of-63), 50 percent (7-of-14) and 74 percent (20-of-27), respectively. The Wolf Pack outrebounded the Pokes 43-42, UW’s second-most boards this season, but Nevada blocked 10 shots, a season high for a Cowboy foe. Wyoming led 14-8 in assists and had just eight turnovers for its sixth game this season with less than 10 and second straight.
The Pokes return to action against Boise State on Saturday at 2 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.