Wyoming Cowboys Season Ends in Overtime Defeat
It was another nail-biter for the Wyoming Cowboys, but this time the heroics came from the opponent. The Western Michigan Broncos left Laramie with a 75-67 overtime victory over UW in the CBI Quarterfinals Monday night at the Arena-Auditorium. Western Michigan's David Brown buried a right corner 3-pointer with 0.8 seconds left that tied the game at 59 and forced overtime. Then the Broncos out-scored the Pokes 16-8 in the extra session to advance on to the CBI semifinals.
Cowboy head coach Larry Shyatt said, "He giveth and he taketh. Sobey's shot a week ago, when that red light went off, went in, and Brown's shot went in today."
Wyoming (20-14) built an 8-point lead early in the second half thanks to a 13-0 spurt that end the first period and started the second. Still, Western Michigan hung around and kept it close. They finally tied it at 56 on a Shayne Whittington lay-in with 1:07 left. The Cowboys hit three of four free throws in the final minute of regulation, but Brown tied it right before the buzzer. The Broncos controlled the overtime period.
Sophomore forward Larry Nance, Jr. said, "That was just a good shot by them. We had our defensive execution, had a hand in his face, and as Nathan Sobey showed us last week, sometimes those shots go in. Props to him for that shot, but we were there."
Western Michigan (22-12) had four guys in double figures, led by Brown off the bench with 17 points. Whittington added 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Nate Hutcheson and Brandon Pokley chipped in 12 and 11, respectively. The Broncos shot 27-60 (45%) from the field, 6-18 (33.3%) from 3-point range and 15-17 (88.2%) at the foul line. They were 4-7 on field goals and went 8-8 at the line in the overtime period.
All five Cowboy starters finished in double figures, and they accounted for all of the Cowboys scoring. UW was led by Larry Nance, Jr. with 19 points and 8 rebounds. Riley Grabau scored 13, Leonard Washington and Josh Adams had 12 apiece and Derrious Gilmore finished with 11 points. Wyoming was 24-59 (40.7%) on field goals, only 3-17 (17.6%) beyond the arc and 16-21 (76.2%) from the stripe. They were out-rebounded 38-36 and finished with 17 turnovers. They went just 3-10 in OT.
Coach Shyatt admitted, "The combination is we fatigued, and they continued to get a little more confident. They ran the same thing the first half, and we did a better job, but we played well enough to win."
UW stayed in front most of the first half and led 24-20 with 4:16 left, but that's when the Broncos strung together a 9-0 spurt and took the lead. Then the Pokes answered with seven straight points by Grabau to end the half for a 31-29 lead. Neither team led by more than six points, while the lead changed hands five times, and there were three ties.
The Cowboy basketball season has come to a close. Ironically, it ends after two games in the CBI for a second consecutive season. The loss snapped Wyoming's 23-game non-conference home-court winning streak.