Comeback Cowboys Top Rams, 69-56

Jan. 29, 2005

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LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Jerry Webb scored 14 points as Wyoming mounted adramatic comeback to beat rival Colorado State 69-56 on Saturday.

The Cowboys (11-8, 3-3 Mountain West Conference) surged ahead after tyingthe game on a 13-3 rally midway through the second half.

Colorado State (9-10, 1-5) came within 59-53 with 1:54 left on a 3-pointerby Sean Morris. But the Rams would come no closer, and Wyoming sealed the winwith 6 of 6 free throws in the final minute.

The second-half rally enabled the Cowboys to overcome a 10-point deficit andtie the game at 39. It included three 3-pointers - two by Dion Sherrell and oneby Jay Straight.

Sherrell and Straight added another 3-pointer each over the next coupleminutes, giving the Pokes a 47-41 lead.

Junior Justin Williams had 10 points, eight rebounds and six blocks in the Cowboy's "Border War" win. (Matt Young photo)

After Webb, Sherrell had 13 points, Straight 12 and Justin Williams 10.Straight also contributed seven rebounds.

Matt Nelson led CSU with 15 points, followed by 12 from Michael Morris.Jason Smith tallied six rebounds.

Things got off to a slow start for both teams, but especially for theCowboys. Webb made Wyoming's first field goal 8 minutes into play.

Colorado State led by as much as 18-7 on a 3-pointer by Joe Rakiecki andfree throws by Stuart Creason.

Not until Straight made a couple free throws with 7:18 left did the Cowboysfinally cross 10 points, reaching 21-11.

Wyoming came within six a couple minutes later on a 3-pointer by JamesEbert. But the Rams pulled away again and closed the half ahead 30-22.

The Cowboys shot just 20.7 percent in the first half. Colorado State didn'tfare much better, hitting 31 percent.

The Rams finished shooting 29.8, while Wyoming was 35.6 percent.

Postgame Notes

•Wyoming won its fifth consecutive home game against Colorado State today. The last time CSU won in Laramie was Jan. 15, 2000, by a score of 77-71.

•Wyoming now leads the overall series 121-80, and leads the MWC series 9-4.

•Steve McClain improved his career record agaisnt CSU to 9-6.

•Wyoming's senior class concluded their home series versus CSU having never lost to the Rams in the Arena-Auditorium.

•Jay Straight became only the second player in school history to hand out 400 career assists and score 1,000 career points. Straight now has 404 career assists, to rank No. 4 in school history, and he has scored 1,368 career points to rank No. 14 in UW history.

•Straight also became the first player in Mountain West Conference history to hand out 400 career assists and score 1,000 career points.

•Jay Straight played 40 minutes again today, marking the 10th time in 19 games this season that Straight has played every minute in a game.

•Straight tied Marcus Bailey for sixth place in career steals today. Straight had two steals against CSU to improve his career total to 113.

•Straight also moved into a tie for third place in games started at UW, with his 101st start today. He ties Reggie Slater, who started 101 games during his career from 1989-92.

•Justin Williams' blocked six shots vs. CSU to improve his season total to 63. That is the fourth best single-season total in school history. He passed Reggie Page, who blocked 60 shots in the 1989-90 season. Theo Ratliff has the three best single-season totals in UW history -- 144 in 1994-95, 124 in 1992-93 and 114 in 1993-94.

•Today's meeting between the Cowboys and Rams was only the second time in Mounain West Conference play that the game was decided by more than 10 points. The only other time the margin of victory in the Mountain West series was more than 10 points was Jan. 12, 2002, when Wyoming won by 23 (95-72) in Laramie. Eleven of 13 meetings in the MWC series have been decided by 10 point or less.

•UW held CSU to only 29.8 percent shooting from the field, which is the lowest shooting total for a Wyoming opponent this season. The previous low by a UW opponent was 31.9 percent shooting by Creighton on Dec. 18, 2004, in Omaha, Neb., in a 68-64 Wyoming victory.

•The 26 points scored by CSU in the second half was a season low by a Wyoming opponent in the second half. The previous second-half low was 27 by Princeton on Nov. 22, 2004, in a 64-59 overtime win for the Cowboys.

•Wyoming's 51 rebounds against CSU was a season high for the Pokes.

Postgame Quotes From Wyoming Head Coach Steve McClain

"We made our shots in the second half, and we played strong defense in the second half. We shot 50 percent from the field after halftime, and held them to 29 percent shooting for the game. That is the kind of team effort we needed to come away with a big win against a rival.

"We attacked their zone much better in the second half. We moved the ball much better against their defense, and Dion (Sherrell), Jay (Straight) and Jerry (Webb) did a good job of knocking down shots.

"Alex (Dunn) made a big steal on an inbounds pass that led to a dunk by Jerry to put us up by eight, which really was the first time we had some breathing room.

"James (Ebert) came off the bench and gave us a good lift. He hit some shots and played good defense.

"Derek Wabbington really played outstanding defense on their big men down the stretch.

"We probably got some luck today, as well. Matt (Nelson) had an average game for him, and (Jason) Smith didn't shoot the ball like he usually does. But our defense played a big part in that.

"Regarding the play at the end of the game, Jay (Straight) thought the game was over. There were people on the court, and he said he wasn't looking at the clock. There was no reason for us to want to score two more points, and that wasn't our intention.

Quotes from Senior Jay Straight

"When people started coming on the court, I thought the game was over. I just flipped the ball up at the basket, I didn't expect it to count. If the CSU players thought I was trying to score on purpose, I apologize for that.