The Wyoming Cowboys opened their men's basketball conference season with a 76-71 win over the University of Nevada-Las Vegas on New Year's eve.

Larry Nance Jr. led the way with 29 points, one of four Cowboys in double figures for the night. Pokes coach Larry Shyatt said the win was unusual for Wyoming (12-2, 1-0 in conference) because his team had an unusually good night offensively.

UNLV falls to 9-4 overall and 0-1 in Mountain West play with the loss. The  Rebels recently defeated previously unbeaten and third ranked Arizona, and UNLV has been receiving votes in the AP men's basketball poll, although they have not cracked the topped 25 so far this year.

It was Wyoming's first victory in a conference opener since the 2006-2007 season. Wyoming visits San Jose State Saturday at 8 p.m.Mountain Time