A dominant performance from Wyoming guard Marcus Williams coupled with a late surge from the Wyoming Cowboys its 93-88 victory over the Nevada Wolf Pack Sunday in Laramie, Wyo.
It marked Wyoming’s first Mountain West series sweep this year. After winning its first two, Nevada has lost four consecutive road games against Mountain West opponents.
Williams, a true freshman finished with a 28 points, two shy of tying his career-high, on 7-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc and 11-of-13 from the free throw line.
The game was knotted at 81 with two minutes remaining. A pair of free throws from Wolf Pack guard Grant Sherfield, but two consecutive Cowboy baskets increased it to 89-83 with 52 seconds remaining.
Desmond Cambridge threw a cross court pass that tipped off Tre Coleman’s fingers, giving Wyoming the ball back with 40 seconds left. Williams knocked down two free throws with 31 seconds left to increase the advantage to 91-83. Nevada could not take string together a rally late to earn the victory.
Sunday’s loss drops Nevada to 10-7 with a 5-5 conference record. Wyoming moves to 10-5 with a 4-4 conference record. Nevada’s five conference losses have come by a combined 21 points.
Both the 93 points allowed and the 88 points scored marked season-highs for the Wolf Pack. Nevada shot 43.3 percent and 25 percent from deep.
They had four double-digit scorers. Sherfield had a bounce-back performance, tallying a team-high 26 points on 6-of-13 shooting, dishing out four of the team’s nine total assists. Cambridge added 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting with five rebounds.
Warren Washington tallied his first career double-double, tallying 16 points with 12 rebounds. Kane Milling had his second double-digit scoring performance of the season and the third of his career, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
The Pokes shot 50.8 percent — 68 percent in the second half — in the victory. Over half of their field goal attempts came from deep, converting on 32.3 percent of them. They are now 10-0 on the season when they shot at least 32 percent from 3-point range.
Five Cowboy players reached double-digits. Xavier DuSell and Kwane Marble II had 13 points apiece. DuSell was 5-of-8 from the floor and 3-of-6 from deep while Marble II shot 4-of-7 with two 3s. Kenny Foster, who exited the game early with after bumping knees with Nevada’s Robby Robinson in the second half, finished with 11 points in 19 minutes.
Both teams received contributions from players making their second career games. Wyoming’s Graham Ike finished with 18 points, six rebounds, two steals and a block — shooting 7-of-10 on the afternoon. Nevada’s Daniel Foster recorded eight points on 3-of-6 shooting, adding three rebounds and two assists.
The Pokes outscored Nevada 36-28 in the paint, despite the considerable amount of shots from outside by both teams (55 combined attempts).
Sherfield picked up two fouls in the first 1:07 in the game. Foster’s 3-pointer gave Wyoming an early 10-1 advantage with 16:53 left in the first half. Through the first four minutes, Nevada had more turnovers (5) than field goal attempts (3) and points (1).
The Pack’s first basket came on K.J. Hymes’ layup with 14:15 remaining in the half. Washington’s two-handed slam cut the deficit to 16-13. Williams’ make from outside widened the Cowboy lead to 23-15 with 9:30 to go in the opening half.
After tying the game twice, the Pack’s first lead of the contest came after Washington’s layup to award them the 29-27 lead.
The Pokes entered halftime with a slim 34-33 lead. Nevada shot 38.7 percent from the floor compared to Wyoming’s 38.9 percent. Wyoming had 20 attempts from outside on its 36 first half attempts, knocking down just four, including missing six of its last seven. The Pack went 2-for-9 from deep in the half.
Eight straight points from Marble II extended the lead to 44-39. The two squads traded baskets throughout the second half.
Three free throws from Washington cut the lead to 57-55 with 11:14 remaining. The Pokes increased their lead back up to six, but Nevada kept battling back.
Milling’s corner 3-pointer cut the Cowboy lead to 69-66 with 5:31 left. Cambridge tied it up at 75 with 3:48 remaining. The scoring margin was within three points until Hunter Maldonado’s three-point play increased Wyoming’s lead to 89-83 with 51 seconds remaining. Nevada could not put together a last-second run to earn the comeback victory.
The Pack head home to take on UNLV in a two-game series beginning on Sunday, Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. PST on Fox Sports 1.
Wyoming begins a two-game road trip at San Diego State Thursday at 3 p.m. PST on Fox Sports 1.