Feb. 16, 2002
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -
Wyoming loves to play UNLV because the Cowboys know theRunnin' Rebels run.
"All other teams try to slow us down," said Cowboy guard Donta Richardson.
"It's fun to actually run up and down and play some basketball," addedforward Marcus Bailey.
Bailey scored 21 points and Uche Nsonwu-Amadi and Richardson added 20 apiecein leading Wyoming past UNLV 82-78 Saturday.
"When those three get 20, we're pretty hard to beat," Wyoming coach SteveMcClain said.
Wyoming (17-5 overall, 8-1 Mountain West) hasn't had such a good record atthis point in the season since 1987-88.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for UNLV.
The game was close throughout, with no more than 10 points between theteams.
Wyoming gained a 34-27 halftime lead after outscoring the Runnin' Rebels13-4 in the last 7 minutes of the first half.
UNLV (14-9, 5-5) opened the second half with a 13-6 run to pull within41-40. But the Cowboys went ahead by 10 about midway through the second halfthanks to a 9-0 run keyed by 5 points from Bailey.
UNLV pulled within 2 points several times thereafter, the latest with 24seconds left after Marcus Banks scored two quick baskets to make the score80-78.
"It was getting to become a little scary," Nsonwu-Amadi said with a bigsmile on his face.
Richardson sank two free throws with 7 seconds left to ice the victory forWyoming.
"We specifically got the ball in his hands because we wanted him at theline," McClain said.
Richardson hit all six of his foul shots for the game. Over the last twogames he has hit 16 straight without a miss.
Wyoming shot 30 of 58 from the floor (52 percent) and 20 of 31 from the line(65 percent).
UNLV, which recorded 13 steals, was 2 of 65 from the field (45 percent) and16 of 17 from the foul stripe (94 percent).
Banks led the Runnin' Rebels with 22 points. Lou Kelly added 20, and DalronJohnson had 17.
Wyoming, led by Nsonwu-Amadi's nine rebounds, outrebounded UNLV 41-28.
"Rebounds were a key," said UNLV coach Charlie Spoonhour. "I think we'reathletic, but so is Wyoming. Wyoming's got some very good athletes, and theybroke us down defensively. That helps with the rebounds, and they're a goodrebounding team."