January 15, 1999
LARAMIE, Wyo. - A trip to an arena 7,220 feet above sea level may havetaken its toll on No. 20 Texas Christian, which saw its eight-game winningstreak end with a 96-93 loss to Wyoming.
Horned Frogs coach Billy Tubbs wasn't ready to concede his team's climb inelevation made the difference, although his star player was.
"If altitude was a factor, then why did we come back in the game?" Tubbssaid. "I don't know, our guys may have been a little bit tired but I thoughtwe came back and gave ourselves a chance to win. We just dug ourselves too deepof a hole."
Wyoming used a 13-2 run to take an 84-73 lead with just under eight minutesleft.
The game matched Tubbs against his assistant of the previous four seasons,Steve McClain, who downplayed the significance of beating his mentor.
"We tried to focus on our team tonight," McClain said. "That's the onething I learned from Billy, you don't worry about the opponent, you worry aboutyour own team.
"I also learned from Billy that you enjoy each game," he said. "I havegreat admiration for Billy and great respect for him. We beat a good basketballteam tonight."
Lee Nailon, who scored 32 points for TCU, admitted the altitude sapped hisstrength.
"I was dead tired the first half. I really didn't have any legs until about12 minutes into the second half," said Nailon, a preseason All-America.
The team's first Western Athletic Conference loss since late in the 1996-97campaign was not a major disappointment, he said.
"One loss won't hurt us. We won't lose another one, though," he said.
Bradley Mann and Ugo Udezue led Wyoming with 18 points each. Mann's outsideshooting helped the Cowboys to their biggest lead of the first half, 29-23, ashe made four consecutive 3-pointers during a two-minute span.
"We just needed some kind of boost in the first half and I knocked it downand it just helped us carry it over." he said.
Udezue said that despite a victory over a ranked opponent, the Cowboys arecapable of more.
"I don't even think we played our best game because we had a lot of missedlayups. I think we can do better," Udezue said.
Anthony Blakes, who finished with 16 points, made one of two free throwswith 10 seconds remaining to put Wyoming up by its final margin after PrinceFowler's drive had closed the gap to 95-93. TCU had a chance to tie at the endbut Marquise Gainous missed the rim on a 3-point attempt from the left side atthe buzzer.
John Pettersson scored a career-high 15 points for Wyoming, while ChrisMcMillian added 12.
Ryan Carroll had 18 points for TCU, while Gainous added 17 and Fowler 16.
TCU was victimized by 21 turnovers compared to nine by the Cowboys.
Wyoming (10-4, 1-2 Western Athletic Conference) broke from a 71-71 tie totake an 84-73 lead with 7:56 left, then held on for its fifth straight homevictory against a ranked opponent over the last three seasons.
TCU (13-3, 1-1) took its last lead, 67-66, on a 3-pointer by Vladimir Jaksicwith 13:36 remaining. McMillian answered with a 3-pointer to put the Cowboys up69-67 with 13:20 left.
The last of nine ties came when TCU's Shannon Long made a reverse layinunder pressure at the 11:07 mark, making it 71-71.
Wyoming then went on a 13-2 run, with Pettersson scoring three straightfield goals during the stretch.
Udezue started the spurt with a hook shot and completed it with a followslam to give the Cowboys their 11-point lead.
Wyoming led 51-47 at halftime as Blakes scored 15 points and Mann added 14,including four straight 3-pointers during a two-minute stretch.
By ROBERT W. BLACK
Associated Press Writer
1st half 2nd half OT Final(V)TCU 47 46 - 93(H)Wyoming 51 45 - 96
Team Leaders Wyoming TCU
Points Mann,Udezue-18 Nailon-32Rebounds Pettersson,Blakes-8 Gainous-10Assists McFall-7 Long-7Steals Blakes-3 Carroll-2
FG % 49.3% 55.7% FT % 52% 56.7%3-pt % 31% 42.1%Pts off turnovers 22 162nd chance pts 15 13
Attendance - 8,739