Last Second Shot Sinks Cowboys

Feb. 19, 2005

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LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Odartey Blankson scored eight of his 24 points in thefinal 1:56, including the winning basket with three-tenths of a second left, tolead UNLV over Wyoming 68-66 Saturday.

UNLV (12-11 overall, 4-6 Mountain West Conference) won its third game in arow, while Wyoming (14-10, 6-5) lost its second straight.

UNLV trailed 65-60 when Blankson got two quick buckets after not scoringsince the 16:27 mark of the second half to pull the Runnin' Rebels to withinone point with 1:30 left.

After a free throw by Dion Sherrell, who led Wyoming with 17 points,Blankson tied the game with 54 seconds to go on a layup.

Wyoming's Jay Straight missed short jumper from the lane with 24 secondsremaining, and UNLV set up the final shot from Blankson who canned a fall-awayjump shot from about 15 feet.

Curtis Terry contributed 13 points for UNLV, which shot 42 percent from thefield and hit 16 of 25 free throws.

Wyoming, which hit 44 percent despite making just six of 24 3-pointattempts, got 16 points from Straight and 13 from Alex Dunn.

Postgame Notes

•Wyoming fell into fourth place with today's loss to UNLV. The Cowboy are now 6-5 (.545) in MWC play, and are 14-10 overall. They fall behind New Mexico, which is 5-4 (.556) entering a game tonight vs. Brigham Young in Albuquerque. UNLV improved to 4-6 (.400) in MWC play and remains in sixth place. The Rebels could move into a tie for fifth pending the outcome of tonight's San Diego State at Colorado State game. If SDSU loses, UNLV will move into a tie for fifth with the Aztecs.

•Wyoming had won six of its last eight games entering today's game.

•The Cowboys are now 12-17 all-time against UNLV, and are 5-8 in MWC play versus the Runnin' Rebels.

•UW has lost its last four games versus UNLV.

•Steve McClain is 6-9 versus UNLV.

•Wyoming shot a season low nine free throws against UNLV, and made four. Wyoming's previous low in free-throw attempts was 14 against Utah on Jan. 15. The Pokes made only eight in that game versus the Utes. UW came into today's game averaging 25.5 free throws per game.

•With his 16 points against the Runnin' Rebels, Jay Straight moved into a tie for 12th place on the Wyoming career scoring list with 1,465 career points. He is now tied with Tony Windis, who scored 1,465 points during his career from 1957-59.

•Jay Straight played 40 minutes again today. He has played every minute in 15 of 24 games this season.

•Straight had seven assists against UNLV, moving him within one assist of second place Chris McMillian. Straight now has 433 career assists. McMillian had 434 during his career from 1999-2003. The UW career leader is Sean Dent, who handed out 502 career assists from 1984-88.

•Straight has 128 assists this season. That ties him for the sixth best single-season total in school history. He is tied with DavidMurray, who handed out 128 assists in the 1992-93 season. Sean Dent holds the UW single-season record for assists with 183 in the 1986-87 campaign.

•Straight is second on the MWC career assist list with 433. He is chasing the MWC record of 439 set by Matt Montague of BYU from 1999-2002.

•Jay Straight scored in double figures for the 23rd consecutive game and the 74th time in 114 career games.

•Alex Dunn recorded his 10th double-figure scoring game of the season with 13 points on 6 of 10 (.600) shooting against the Rebels. He has had 25 career double-figure scoring games.

•Dion Sherrell scored in double figures for the seventh time in 11 MWC games this season. He has 12 double-figure scoring games this season and 17 for his two-year Wyoming career.

•Jerry Webb tied a career high with four assists vs. UNLV. His eight rebounds fell just one rebound shy of his career best.

Postgame Quotes From Wyoming Head Coach Steve McClain

"They hit a shot at the end, and we didn't. Give Odartey Blankson credit. He made a big shot.

"There were a number of plays throughout the game that played a big role in the outcome. You can't point to just one play.

"Our kids did a good job of fighting back. Being down by nine at half, we came out and got right back in the game at the start of the second half.

"Give UNLV credit. They were the preseason favorites, and they have won two games to get themselves back in the race.

Regarding losing an opportunity to move into second place today rather than falling to fourth

"Everyone in this race still has a chance. The nice thing about our situation is we still control our own destiny. To look at this game another way -- we're only one win out of moving into second place.