Sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. led the University of Wyoming men's basketball team with 16 points, but the UNLV Runnin' Rebels earned a 62-50 win over the Cowboys (15-3, 2-3 MW) on Thursday night in the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas.
The Cowboys trailed by four, 29-25, at half and pulled within two early in the second half, but UNLV (16-4, 3-2 MW) went on a 16-4 run to push the lead to 14 with 12:11 to go and the Pokes could not mount a comeback.
"I have a disappointed locker room, but you cannot beat a talented team like this without hitting a few more shots," Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt said. "They pulled away from us in the second half by getting too many second shots off offensive rebounds. Give a lot of credit to their frontline. Their size, speed and strength hurt us."
Nance led the Cowboy for the third time this season with 16 points for his 11th game this season in double figures. He tied a career-high with five steals and added four rebounds and two assists.
Senior forward Leonard Washington also scored in double figures with 13, while pulling down seven rebounds and tied a career-high with four blocks.
Washington scored in double figures for the 15th time this season and led the Cowboys in blocks for the 14th time. Nance and Washington combined for 21 of UW's 25 points in the first half and 29 of UW's 50 total points.
As a team the Cowboys shot 41 percent (20-of-48) from the field, while hitting a season-low three baskets (3-of-18) from beyond the arc.
They assisted on 10 of their 20 baskets, finishing the game with more assists than turnovers (seven) for the 10th time this season. UNLV hit 21-of-43 (48 percent) from the field and knocked down 13-of-15 (86 percent) from the free throw line.
The Cowboys opened the game on an 8-0 run led by a basket from Washington with three-consecutive buckets from Nance. UNLV answered quickly scoring 15 of the next 19 points to take a 15-12 lead.
The ensuing UW possession, Washington knocked in a three to tie the score back at 15. Mike Moser answered with a triple of his own to give UNLV an 18-15 lead.
With the Moser three, the Rebels scored seven of the next 10 points to take their largest lead of the half at 25-18.
Washington got the Cowboys back on track with a put back dunk, as they scored seven of the next nine points to pull within four 29-25 at the half.
Nance led the Cowboys in the first half with 14 points, followed by Washington with seven of his own.
Rebel freshman Anthony Bennett hit two free throws to start the second half, but Washington answered scoring four-consecutive points to pull the Pokes within two at 31-29.
The Rebels answered over the next four minutes pushing the lead to 14, scoring 16 of the next 20 points to take a 47-33 with 12:11 to go.
Sophomore guard Riley Grabau hit a jumper and two buckets by junior guard Nathan Sobey sparked the Cowboys to a 9-4 run, cutting the lead to single digits at 51-42 with 9:07 to go.
The following possession UNLV pushed the lead back to double digits and did not give it up from that point on to close out the victory.
Next up, the Cowboys return home to host Air Force on Saturday with tip set for 8 p.m. MT.
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