* University of Wyoming press release

LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowboys erased a 10-point UNLV lead in the second half to send the game into overtime, but the Runnin’ Rebels, who shot 86 percent from the free-throw line on the night used the charity stripe in overtime to take the contest 75-69 on Tuesday evening in the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie.

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The Pokes fall to 13-15 overall and 6-9 in conference play, as the Runnin’ Rebels recorded their eighth win in the last nine contests.

“The effort was outstanding tonight,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “To be a good team you have to have that effort defensively when you don’t shoot the ball well. We put ourselves in position to win and Sam Griffin made a couple of plays down the stretch to give us a chance and we thought we would get a switch but give UNLV credit. It never comes down to one play. It hurts to give to give yourself a chance to win against a really good team.”

The Pokes were held to 36.8 percent from the field on the night. Wyoming did shoot 48 in the second half but were held to 25 percent in the opening frame. UNLV shot 40.7 percent from the field and 38.7 from behind the arc. The Runnin’ Rebels held a 44-32 advantage on the glass.

Wyoming was led in scoring by Brendan Wenzel added 20 points for his 14th game in double-figures this season and the eighth in his last nine games. He has scored 20 or more points four times this season. Sam griffin added 13 points for his 22nd game in double figures with Mason Walters adding 12 points for his 13th game in double-figures. Cam Manyawu added 10 rebounds to lead the Pokes, as he also tied a career-high four steals.

The Runnin’ Rebels took an early 5-2 lead, but a bucket in transition from Griffin off a steal made it a 5-4 contest. The Pokes would hold the Runnin’ Rebels scoreless for over four and a half minutes, but the Pokes struggled offensively as well as a bucket by UNLV made it an 8-7 game at the 12:12 mark.

The Pokes went over five minutes without a bucket until Caden Powell added a basket tied the game at 10-10 with eight minutes left. The Pokes tied the game later on a three-pointer from Wenzel for a 13-13 game, but it was answered right back with six minutes left in the first half.

The Cowboys went scoreless for over four minutes with the Rebels build the lead to 18-13. Kael Combs stopped the slide with a three pointer at the 2:22 mark of the frame. Akuel Kot gave Wyoming a 19-18 lead with a triple with 90 seconds left. The Runnin’ Rebels took a 23-19 lead into the half.

UNLV hit four-straight baskets to take a 32-23 lead to open the second half. The Pokes made it a five-point game, but a and-one play by UNLV made it a 35-27 contest with 15:40 left. A lead of 10 points was cut to seven by a three-pointer from Wenzel.

Walters added an and-one play and Wenzel hit a three-pointer for a 39-36 UNLV lead with 12:46 left, but UNLV answered right back with a three of their own to push the lead back to six. Wyoming made it a six-point game, but another three-pointer pushed the Runnin’ Rebel lead to seven at 49-42 with 7:35 remaining.

Wenzel and Walters helped make it a 51-48 game for UNLV. But UNLV pushed the lead to five and Wyoming could not get within less than three until a pair of free throws from Griffin made it a 56-54 game with 1:21 left. A tough three by UNLV pushed the lead to five until a and-one play by Walters for a 59-57 game with 45 seconds left.

The lead remained at two points after the teams traded free throws with 17.1 seconds left. The Pokes would then get a steal and Kael Combs was fouled hitting a pair of free throws to tie the game at 61-61 with 6.7 seconds left.

After the Runnin’ Rebels stepped out of bounds Griffin had a look but missed and the Pokes went to overtime.

UNLV took a 68-62 lead in the opening two minutes of the overtime period. Manyawu added a bucket for a 68-64 game with 2:29 left. But the lead was pushed back to six points at the line and that was all the Runnin’ Rebels needed using the line late to win 75-69.

The Runnin’ Rebels were led by Kalib Boone with 24 points and 12 rebounds. He was 8-of-10 from the field.

The Cowboys head south to take on Colorado State on Saturday afternoon in a 2 p.m. start in a contest on the Mountain West Network.

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