Cowboys Win Overtime Thriller
Junior forward Larry Nance Jr. hit a jumper with three seconds left to hand the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team a dramatic 64-62 overtime win against Nevada on Saturday afternoon in the Arena-Auditorium. Nance led the way with his eighth double-double of the season at 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Cowboys (13-6, 4-2 MW), who played in front of a season-high 6,944 fans. UW’s four-game winning streak in the Mountain West is its longest since February of 2009.
“It was a great atmosphere and this place helped us tonight,” UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. “The crowd got us over the hump and helped us win today. We got a lot of defensive rebounds and I think we just really gutted it out, because this team has a tremendous will. It never goes away and you can feel it.”
The Pokes built a four-point lead halfway through overtime thanks to four free throws from redshirt senior guardJerron Granberry and senior guard Nathan Sobey, but the Wolf Pack (10-10, 5-2 MW) battled back to tie the contest with 33 seconds left. Wyoming held for the last shot, as Nance took the ball and hit a running hook shot in the middle of the paint with just three seconds left to give the Pokes the lead. Nevada quickly inbounded the ball and put up a running jumper from just over midcourt, but it fell short to hand the Wolf Pack their first loss on the road in conference play. Four of UW’s six MW games have been decided by one basket.
Nance’s third double-double in the last four games came on 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-4 at the free throw line. He added three assists and two blocks, while playing 44 minutes. Junior guard Riley Grabau got back on track with 13 points, including two threes, as he tied a career-high with 44 minutes. Sophomore guard Josh Adams scored in double figures for the eighth time in UW’s last nine contests with 12 points and four assists.
Wyoming shot over 50 percent from the field for the third-straight contest with 51 percent (24-of-47) and added 36 percent (4-of-11) from beyond the arc. Nevada hit 44 percent (22-of-49) and 50 percent (10-of-20), respectively, but was outrebounded 30-26 and gave up a 34-20 difference in points in the paint.
The Cowboys led Nevada by as many as 11 points in the first half and seven points in the second half, but the Wolf Pack refused to go quietly in a game that featured 11 ties and four lead changes. Nevada took a late lead in regulation, but Adams connected on three-point play with 26 seconds left to tie up the contest and forced up a long three from the Wolf Pack at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
Wyoming continues it season at Fresno State on Wednesday at 8 p.m. MT.