Turnovers Prove Costly in Cowboys Loss to UNLV [VIDEOS]
Justin James scored 25 points but also had 9 turnovers, and the Wyoming Cowboys lost to the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels 66-56 Tuesday night in Laramie.
Wyoming (6-20, 2-11) finished with 19 turnovers. Four of their turnovers came in crunch time, the last three minutes.
All of the miscues by UW led to 21 points for UNLV. The Rebels also scored 34 points in the paint and went 16-16 at the foul line. Six of those free throws came in the final 3:17 when UNLV wrapped up the season sweep of the Pokes.
Wyoming trailed 45-55 with 6:36 left. The Cowboys went on an 8-0 run that trimmed the Rebels lead to 55-53 at the 3:34 mark, but James missed a free throw that would have completed a three-point play.
UW gave up two free throws, a short jumper in the paint, and a three by Noah Robotham from the corner over the next two minutes. The Rebels extended to a 62-53 lead that was too much to overcome.
UNLV (15-11, 9-5) won for the fourth time in their last five games. Four Rebels scored in double figures led by Kris Clyburn with 17 points. Joel Ntambwe added 15 points. The Rebels shot 43 percent for the game but went just 4-22 (18%) from deep. They also had a 35-25 advantage on the glass.
No other Cowboy scored in double figures. A.J. Banks had nine, while Jake Hendricks and Trevon Taylor added eight apiece. Wyoming shot 41 percent from the field. They were 7-26 from three, 27 percent.
The game featured a series of mini-runs in the first half. UW scored the first basket, but UNLV came back with eight in a row. The Pokes went on a 9-3 run and got back within 11-13. The Rebels answered with a 6-0 run. Wyoming responded with a 10-0 run and led 21-19 with 6:28 left in the first half. An 11-2 run by UNLV gave them a 30-23 lead at halftime.
The Rebels stretched their lead early in the second half to 13 points, 41-28, with 17:05 left. The Cowboys never led in the last half. They closed within four on two occasions, but UNLV had an answer. A Hendricks three-pointer with 7:46 remaining brought UW within 45-49, but the Rebels scored six straight for a 55-45 lead. Over the next two minutes, Wyoming made its move but failed to get even.
The Pokes return to the court Saturday for the second edition of the Border War against Colorado State. This one is in Fort Collins. The game starts at noon.