LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Five Cowboys scored in double figures and the University of Wyoming men’s basketball team took Western Michigan to overtime, before falling 75-67 in the CBI quarterfinals on Monday night in the Arena-Auditorium.
The Broncos (22-12) sent the game to overtime on a last-second three and outscored the Pokes (20-14) 16-8 in the extra period to break UW’s 23-game non-conference winning streak in the AA.
“The last game of the season is always tough,” Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt said. “Yes this one was tough, but I thought our guys played the game the right way. I was really proud of how hard they played and how together they played. We looked closer tonight to the way we looked earlier in the season.”
Freshman guard Josh Adams put the Pokes up 59-56 with seven seconds to go in regulation, but WMU nailed a three with less than a second left to knot the game at 59-59. The Broncos continued that momentum into overtime with a 4-of-7 showing from field and 8-of-8 at the free throw line, while holding UW to 3-of-10 from the field.
“I thought we responded well to the physicalness of this game,” Shyatt said. “I thought the referees did a good job as best they could, because there were collisions after collisions in a very physical game. We did what we needed to do to put ourselves in a position to win. It wasn’t in the cards tonight.”
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Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. paced the Pokes with a game-high 19 points, while sophomore guard Riley Grabau added 13. Adams and senior forward Leonard Washington had 12 each and senior guard Derrious Gilmore contributed 11, as five Cowboys reached double figures in the same game for the second time this season. Nance and Washington had eight rebounds each and combined for three blocks, while Gilmore posted five assists. Nance and Gilmore have reached double figures in each of the last five games.
Wyoming hit 41 percent (24-of-59) from the field and 76 percent (16-of-21) at the free throw line, but just 18 percent (3-of-17) beyond the arc. WMU hit 45 percent (27-of-60) from the field, 33 percent (6-of-18) from deep and 88 percent (15-of-17) at the charity stripe. The Broncos’ 13 steals were a season high for a UW opponent, while Wyoming’s 17 turnovers tied its season high.
The Pokes led the majority of the first half thanks to several early buckets from Adams and extended the lead to as many as six at 15-9 in the middle minutes. Nance kept the Cowboys in front with a thunderous dunk, but the Broncos responded with a 9-0 spurt at the four-minute mark to pull in front 29-24. Grabau took over the final minute, though, with a 7-0 run by himself to send Wyoming into halftime up 31-29.
Grabau notched 10 points in the first half, while Gilmore and Nance had seven each. Wyoming and Western Michigan shot 43 percent (10-of-23) and 40 percent (11-of-27), respectively, in the first half, but both connected on just 2-of-8 beyond the arc. UW earned a 17-15 advantage in rebounds, but trailed 5-4 in assists and 5-3 in steals.
The Cowboys led most of the second half, after opening the period with a quick 6-0 run to go up by eight. Nance and Washington went to work on the inside to keep the advantage around eight points, until the Broncos went on a 6-2 run at the five-minute mark to tie the game at 56-56 with one minute left. Gilmore hit two free throws and Adams added one with seven seconds left, but WMU hit its last-second three and took that momentum into overtime for the win. Nance scored 10 of his 19 in the second half.