LARAMIE, Wyo. -
Four Cowboys scored in double figures, including double-doubles from senior forwards Larry Nance Jr. and Derek Cooke Jr., to propel the University of Wyoming men's basketball team to a 63-55 victory over Nevada on Saturday afternoon in the Arena-Auditorium. The Wolf Pack (6-14, 2-6 MW) pulled within three with six minutes remaining, but the Cowboys (18-4, 7-2 MW) made 11 of their last 14 free throws to hold on for their 14th home win this season in front of a crowd of 8,106.
"It was a big key for us to rebound well today, and we had contributions from a lot of players on the boards today," UW head coach Larry Shyatt said. "I knew this was not going to be easy. We built a 13-point lead in the second half and had a couple opportunities on some fast breaks to possibly knock it up to 14 or 15 points. But we never quite could do that. Give Nevada credit for not allowing us to pull away."
Wyoming earned its biggest lead of the game at 45-32 with 13 minutes left in the second half, before Nevada ripped off a 9-0 run to cut the lead to two possessions. The advantage would dwindle to just one possession minutes later, but makes at the charity stripe from Cooke, Nance, senior guard Riley Grabau and junior guard Josh Adams would keep the Wolf Pack at arm's length down the stretch.
"I thought we were really good in both our zone and our man today, and our rebounding showed that both when we were in the zone and in our man-to-man," Shyatt said. "As I said the thing that hurt us more than anything were some untimely turnovers."
Nance's fourth double-double of the Mountain West season came on 11 points and 10 rebounds to go with four steals and three assists, while Cooke contributed 14 points and 10 boards. Grabau continued his hot shooting to post a season-high 18 points on 3-of-5 beyond the arc and 9-of-9 at the free throw line, as he moved past Fennis Dembo (1985-88) for fifth in school history with 144 threes. Adams had 13 points, three assists and two steals.
Wyoming shot 41 percent (18-of-44) from the field and 35 percent (6-of-17) beyond the arc, but made 21 of its 26 free throws for 81 percent at the charity stripe. Nevada shot 42 percent (21-of-50) from the field and 79 percent (11-of-14) at the free throw line, but made just 2-of-11 from deep and was outrebounded 34-24. UW's 12 offensive boards were a season high, while Nevada's two threes tied a season low for a UW opponent. The Pokes committed just 11 fouls to 19 for the Wolf Pack, but made 15 turnovers.
The Cowboys host Colorado State for the Border War on Wednesday at 7 p.m. MT in the Arena-Auditorium.