Big Shot Sobey.
That is the new nickname for Wyoming junior guard Nathan Sobey after he hit the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cowboys a 67-66 win over Lehigh Tuesday night in a first-round CBI game in Laramie.
But let’s not forget two other players that were key in making that play happen.
After Lehigh took a 66-64 lead in the final seconds, and with no timeouts, sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. got the ball into play quickly to true freshman guard Josh Adams. Then, Adams used his speed to get the ball up the floor quickly, and found Sobey open in the corner.
If Nance or Adams falter even the slightest, UW loses.
Not only did Adams have the game-winning assist, he had a big steal and assist in the final seconds that tied the game at 64-64. Lehigh guard Mackey McKnight looked like he just lost control of the ball as Adams defended him. Coach Larry Shyatt said the team was going to trap if Lehigh brought the ball up toward the sideline. There was not a trap set. It looked more like Adams darted toward McKnight.
How about the recent play of Nance? He has averaged 17.7 points and seven rebounds in the last three games. He has his energy level back after a long bout with a sinus infection that forced him to lose 18 pounds. Shyatt said most of that weight is back now. So is his game.
Senior point guard Derrious Gilmore made six 3-pointers for the third time this season, and finished with a game-high 25 points. He made his first six shots, which included five 3s. That was a big key in the game, but so was his three second-half assists in the second half. Gilmore finished with a team-best four assists.
Call it lucky, call it meaningless or even insignificant, but this was a fun game and a nice win for UW. Would be nice to see senior forward Leonard Washington get healthy enough to play. His back flared up prior to the game and he played just two minutes. Perhaps UW will shut him down, but it could use him Monday for its quarterfinals home game against either North Dakota State or Western Michigan (that game is Wednesday night at a time yet to be determined).
With Washington’s uncertain status, it will be vital UW avoids foul trouble no matter who it plays Monday. The Cowboys persevered through foul trouble against Lehigh, but more often than not that will cost them if it happens again.
But it was a gutsy effort by those guys who were out there, and for Sobey, a game he won’t soon forget.
See my column in Thursday’s Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Laramie Boomerang and at wyosports.net on UW, the CBI and fans. Also, join me at 3 p.m. Thursday for my weekly live chat on UW sports. See the blog or wyosports.net for the link.