LARAMIE, Wyo. — Wyoming lost a seven-point lead in the final 1 minute, 25 seconds of regulation before losing its fourth straight game with a 78-69 setback to UNLV in overtime Saturday at the Arena-Auditorium. It’s the seventh straight loss for the Cowboys against Mountain West competition dating back to last season.
True freshman Kwane Marble II paced Wyoming with a career-high 19 points while Jake Hendricks and Hunter Maldonado added 18 and 16, respectively, but the Runnin’ Rebels outscored the Cowboys 15-6 in extra time and never trailed after regulation. Bryce Hamilton led UNLV with 19 points while Jonah Antonio chipped in 15 for the Runnin’ Rebels, who shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and nearly 70 percent (23 of 33) from the free-throw line.
Hunter Thompson’s free throw with 1:25 left in regulation gave Wyoming a 63-56 lead, but the Cowboys largely failed to execute the rest of the way. Wyoming left the door open for UNLV by missing its next five free throws, and Maldonado fouled Donnie Tillman with 1 second left on the shot clock on UNLV’s final possession with the Cowboys clinging to a 63-61 lead. Tillman sank both free throws with 12.6 seconds left to send the game to overtime, where UNLV kept its momentum going with back-to-back 3-pointers.
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For the first time in a conference game all season, Wyoming led at the half, 27-22, thanks to one of its stingiest defensive efforts of the season. UNLV had just two field goals through the first 14 minutes and shot just 21.7 percent from the field.
Hamilton led the Runnin’ Rebels with 12 points at the break, but nine of UNLV’s first-half points came from the free-throw line. It’s the lowest first-half shooting percentage for a Wyoming opponent since Colorado State shot just 20 percent on Jan. 7, 2015.
But the Cowboys shot just 33.3 percent from the field and 65.8 percent (25 of 38) from the charity stripe.