Live by the thrilling overtime victory, die by the thrilling overtime victory.
The Nevada Wolf Pack, which won at Fresno State (96-86) on Wednesday in double overtime, also had to put in some extra work on Saturday at Wyoming. This time, though, the Wolf Pack came up short, losing in overtime, 64-62, to the Cowboys.
The loss dropped the Pack to 10-10 overall on the year (2-2 in overtime) and 5-2 in the Mountain West. Wyoming improved to 13-6, 4-2. Wyoming, which lost at Reno's Lawlor Events Center 61-58 on Jan. 4, has now won 11-of-13 games in the all-time series against the Wolf Pack.
A hook shot from eight feet out by Larry Nance with three seconds to play in the overtime broke a 62-62 tie and gave Wyoming the crucial conference win. The Wolf Pack, which has now lost two of its last three games after starting Mountain West play at 4-0, had tied the game at 62-62 on a jumper by Jerry Evans with 33 seconds left.
Wyoming sent the game into overtime on a 3-point play by Josh Adams with 25 seconds left in regulation. Adams made a lay-up and a free throw on the play after getting fouled by the Pack's Michael Perez. The Wolf Pack had taken a 54-51 lead with 29 seconds to go in regulation on two free throws by Deonte Burton. Burton also gave the Pack a 52-49 lead with a 3-pointer with 1:32 left.
Burton finished with 25 points. The Pack, though, had to play the final two minutes without the leading scorer in the Mountain West as Burton fouled out. The senior was called for three fouls in the first half, one in the second and one in overtime and played 34 minutes.
Burton's backup also had to deal with foul trouble. Marqueze Coleman played 20 minutes and was called for three fouls. The sophomore did not score a point and also did not have an assist or a rebound.
The Wolf Pack, in fact, did not get a single point from its bench. Coleman, Ali Fall and D.J. Fenner combined to play 41 minutes and went 0-for-8 from the floor and did not get a free throw attempt. Wyoming's bench scored seven points. This was the first time all season that the Pack bench did not score a single point.
Wyoming took a 25-22 halftime lead as the Pack offense sputtered in the first half. The Wolf Pack scored just two points in a span of seven minutes as Wyoming took a 13-7 early lead. The Pack scored just 11 points in the first 14 minutes of the first half.
Down 22-11 with 6:12 to go before halftime, though, the Wolf Pack got a pair of 3-pointers by Burton and one by Cole Huff to cut Wyoming's lead to 25-22 at the break.
The Wolf Pack dominated the last six minutes of the first half and the first four minutes of the second half, turning that 22-11 deficit into a 33-29 lead. Huff hit another 3-pointer to tie the game at 25-25 a minute into the second half. A dunk by A.J. West gave the Pack a 27-25 lead a minute later and Burton drained a pair of 3-pointers just 42 seconds apart as the Pack took a 33-29 lead with 16:13 left in the game.
A jumper by Perez broke a 33-33 tie but Wyoming then went on a 9-0 run to take a 42-35 advantage with 10:35 left. A 3-pointer by Adams (12 points) gave the Cowboys their seven-point lead.
The Wolf Pack, though, went on a 14-4 run over a 5:24 stretch to take a 52-49 lead with 1:32 left to play. Evans and Perez had 3-pointers during the run as did Burton. Perez also had a layup to tie the game at 49-49 with three minutes remaining.
The teams traded buckets in the first two minutes of the overtime. A lay-up by Larry Nance gave Wyoming a 56-54 lead 15 seconds into the extra 5-minute period. Perez tied the game with a jumper at 56-56 with 3:39 to go. Jerron Granberry sank two free throws for a 58-56 Wyoming lead with 3:14 to go.
Wyoming then took a 60-56 lead on two more free throws by Nathan Sobey with 2:36 left. Burton, though, scored on a layup to cut the Cowboys lead to 60-58 with 2:17 to go. The Pack point guard, however, had to exit the game with his fifth foul just 12 seconds later.
The Pack opened the door for the Cowboys at the free throw line.
Huff missed one-of-two free throws twice in the final two minutes. He made his first free throw with 1:52 to go to pull the Pack within 60-59 but then missed the second. Nance got the rebound and scored 25 seconds later on a dunk for a 62-59 Wyoming lead with 1:27 left.
Huff then made one-of-two free throws with 48 seconds to go as the Pack sliced Wyoming's lead to 62-60. Evans did tie the game at 62-62 with 33 seconds to play but Nance's game-winner decided things with three seconds left.
The Pack was 8-of-15 from the free throw line. West was 2-of-6 from the line and Huff was 2-of-4. Wyoming wasn't much better from the free throw line, going 12-of-17.
Nance finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Riley Grabau had 13 points for Wyoming and Adams had 12. Evans ended up with 14 points, Perez had 11 and Huff had eight. West had four points, six rebounds and one block in 35 minutes.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak on the road for the Pack. The last Pack road loss was Dec. 10 at California (92-84).
The Wolf Pack will host Colorado State on Wednesday and Air Force on Feb. 1 at Lawlor Events Center.