They played hard, the effort was there and so was the guts and determination to make a late-game charge.
But it wasn’t enough for the Wyoming Cowboys as they lost 71-67 to UNLV in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament Thursday afternoon at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
UW (18-14), the tournament’s fifth seed, lost its 13th straight game to UNLV in Las Vegas. It will find out late Sunday night if it plays in the postseason. It should get an invite to the CBI or CIT tournaments.
Here are some second half highlights:
Thursday’s game was a bit odd.
Sophomore guard Josh Adams carried the Cowboys in the first half. He scored 18 of his game-high 24 points then, including a dunk that had the entire crowd — about an even split of UW and UNLV fans — in awe. Adams also had seven rebounds, three assists and tied a career-high with two blocked shots.
UNLV kept Adams at bay in the second half, then it was Jerron Granberry’s turn. All of his career-high 18 points came in the second half. He scored UW’s first 10 points to start the half, and his three-point play with 23.1 seconds left pulled the Cowboys to within one at 66-65.
Wyoming played at the pace it wanted, but UNLV showed it also could slow the game down and overcome what the Cowboys do to frustrate teams as the Runnin’ Rebels grinded out a 48-46 win Saturday at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
For the fifth time in 10 conference games for UW, this one was decided by a single basket. And for sixth time this season, junior forward Larry Nance Jr. had a chance to win or tie a game. But down two his short shot in the key, which was contested by UNLV junior forward Khem Birch, didn’t fall.
Nance has made game-winning shots three times, and three times he did not. But in those instances where he didn’t, it wasn’t because of a lack of effort, want-to or it wasn’t what UW wanted. In all those cases, it wanted Nance with the ball.
Here is some second half highlights, including the final possessions of the game:
WyoSports senior editor Robert Gagliardi did a question-and-answer session with Matt Youmans, who covers UNLV men’s basketball for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, about tonight’s game with the University of Wyoming at 8 p.m. at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
Follow on Twitter: @mattyoumans247
UNLV’s play this season has been up and down, so what would you say are the biggest factors for that?
The Rebels’ top six scorers are transfers – from USC, Pittsburgh, Connecticut, Fresno State, Mississippi State and Mississippi – and the next two players in their rotation are freshmen. For whatever reasons, the coaching staff has struggled to coax consistent efforts out of this team. Inexperience and instability at the point guard position was a problem early in the season, but the bigger issue now seems to be the absence of strong leadership. UNLV is a weak perimeter shooting team and a poor defensive team when it comes to stopping guards off the dribble. It’s a team with a lot of issues.