USA TODAY Sports
A thrilling start to the Mountain West tournament.
An unexpected shootout took place at the Thomas & Mack center on Tuesday night. Luckily Wyoming came on top as they scored a season high point total in the their 85-81 victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack. The Cowboys will now face #1 seed New Mexico in a game televised on CBS Sports Network that starts at 7:30 PM MST.
Wyoming struggled in the first half but they were able to keep things close. Despite not getting a single offense rebound Wyoming was down only four at the half. The Cowboys used a strong second half that was headlined by Larry Nance Jr. who had 19 points on 9/10 shooting as well as eight rebounds. This was the Nance that we were used to seeing before his illness and weight loss. Leonard Washington was quiet in the first half but finished with 18 points in just 25 minutes due to early foul trouble. Derrious Gilmore played an outstanding game except for a pair of turnovers late in the game. He finished with 17 points and eight assists.
Wyoming shot lights out in the second half. The Cowboys shot 16-24 (66%) to surge back and build a double digit lead. It seemed like the Pokes would win this one easily but the Pack kept whittling away at the lead. Eventually Wyoming's edge was down to 73-72 with 1:41 remaining. Nevada went into foul mode and luckily the Pokes made their free throws.
Nevada made this game close thanks to two players: Deonte Burton and Malik Story. Burton had 27 points and six assists while playing all 40 minutes. Story had 20 points thanks to connecting on five three pointers.
Wyoming got some help from the entire roster. Josh Adams hit several free throws at the end of the game and finished with 10 points. Riley Grabau hit all four of his free throw attempts and finish with nine points. Derek Cooke had eight points and four rebounds. This productivity from the entire team will be crucial if Wyoming wants to have a chance tomorrow against New Mexico.