FORT COLLINS, Colo. -
Senior forward Larry Nance Jr. finished with a team-high 15 points, but it was redshirt sophomore guard Jason McManamen's three with 20 seconds left that gave the University of Wyoming men's basketball team a 60-54 win at Colorado State on Wednesday night. The Pokes (14-2, 3-0 MW) never trailed against the Rams (14-2, 1-2 MW) en route to their first victory in Moby Arena since 2009 and moved to 3-0 in the Mountain West for the first time since 2002-03.
"What a great game, a good college game," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "I don't think either team played as well as they would have liked or as well as they normally play. Both teams are low-turnover teams, but there were a lot of turnovers tonight. Both teams were diving on the floor for loose balls, but I guess that is what you want in an emotional game like this."
The battle of the only two MW teams receiving votes in both national polls lived up to its hype. UW never trailed, but never led by much. The Pokes held a 31-26 lead at halftime and scored the first seven points out of the break to go in front by 12. Wyoming extended the advantage to as much as 43-30 through the first five minutes, before the Rams crafted an 11-1 run to make it a single-possession game at 44-41. UW and CSU would trade buckets down the final five minutes, as the Rams pulled within two at 56-54 with one minute left. McManamen tied up the ball with a CSU player to force a jump ball and hit his shot just seconds later to put the Pokes up by five. The Rams missed on their ensuing possession and junior guard Josh Adams hit a free throw with five seconds remaining to seal the victory.
"With 23 seconds to go we entered the ball looking for something on the right side of the floor," Shyatt said. "Josh (Adams) couldn't get to the right, he drove to the middle and CSU is a team that helps from the strong side, so when (Jason) McManamen's man came to help it left him wide open. Now you have to make the shot, but to get a good shot like that with 10 seconds to play was terrific."
Nance finished with 15 points, six rebounds and three assists, while senior guard Charles Hankerson Jr. and Adams had 13 apiece. Adams added six rebounds, five assists and three steals. Wyoming shot 45 percent (18-of-40) from the field to 34 percent (17-of-50) for Colorado State. Neither team shot well behind the arc, as UW hit 5 of its 18 attempts and just 2 of 14 for CSU. The two teams combined for 41 fouls and 33 turnovers.
The Cowboys built an early lead, as Adams scored UW's first six points. Hankerson added a three, his 13th game this season with at least one, but the Rams fought back to tie the contest at 11-11 midway through the half. Nance would score seven of the next 11 points for the Pokes to push them back in front, before a quick 6-0 spurt from the Rams tied the contest 22-22 with two minutes left. The Pokes ended the half with a 7-2 run, though, to go into halftime up 31-26.
Nance paced Wyoming with nine points and four rebounds in the first half, while Adams added eight points. The Pokes shot their usual 50 percent (11-of-22) from the field and held the Rams to 36 percent (9-of-25), but neither team shot well beyond the arc. UW hit 2 of its 10 attempts, while CSU was 0-of-4. The Rams held a 15-13 advantage on the boards, including 6-2 on the offensive glass.
Wyoming continues its season by hosting Boise State on Saturday at 4 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.\