ROCK SPRINGS, WYOMING (Mar. 5, 2020) — In a season that has not had a lot of fun, the Mountain West Conference Championship Tournament in Las Vegas is proving to be very fun for the Wyoming Cowboys and their fans! Last night’s fun was a 74-71 upset win over third seeded Nevada sending the Pokes into tonight’s semi-finals against No. 2 seeded Utah State.
Wednesday night, Wyoming (9-23) made history by being the first No. 11 seed to ever win a game in the Men’s tournament, defeating rival and No. 6 seed CSU, 80-74. Now history continues as the Cowboys are the first No. 11 seed to make it to the tournament semi-finals. That’s two wins away from the MW automatic invitation to the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Amazing for a team that won only two MW conference games all year.
Tonight’s Wyoming/Utah State basketball game will be heard on WyoRadio’s 99.7 JACK FM an streamed at 99KSIT.com beginning at 9 p.m. with tip-off at 9:30 p.m.
Besides the win, another bright spot for Wyoming has been the tournament play of freshman Kwane Marble II. Last night, he scored a career high 24 points, surpassing his 20-point career scoring night on Wednesday in the Pokes opening round win over Colorado State. Senior guard Jake Hendricks added 12 points, connecting on four three pointers and Hunter Thompson scored 17-points off the bench, including a trio of three pointers.
Wyoming would score the first basket of the game, but then fell behind 13-6 at the 15:51 mark. The Pokes would regain the first half lead 15-14 with 12:21 on the clock. The first half would remain close with Utah taking back the lead 28-26 with 5:27 showing. The Wolf Pack controled the rest of the half, leading 43-33 at the break.
Nevada would build the lead to 12-points, 48-36, four minutes into the second half. A made three-point shot by Hendricks and another by Marble II would cut the Nevada led to 48-42 with a bit over 15 minutes to go. Nevada would build the lead back to 10-points, 54-44 at the 13:12 mark and still lead by nine, 58-49, with 8:32 on the clock.
Wyoming would then go on a 13-3 run. Cowboy sophomore Greg Milton III hit a three pointer and threw out an assist to Thompson for his fourth three-pointer to give Wyoming a 62-61 lead with 4:39 remaining. It was the Pokes first lead of the second half. It was a lead the Pokes would never give up.
Wyoming stretched the lead to five, but Nevada hit a three-pointer with 2:12 left to cut the Poke lead to 68-66. After a Marble layup, Nevada scored another three and started fouling. Wyoming would go 4-of-6 from the line, all four made by TJ Taylor, to hold off the Wolf Pack, 74-71.
Wyoming will face second-seeded Utah State, a 75-70 winner over New Mexico, in one semi-final game. The other semi-final will feature top seeded San Diego State against No. 5 seed Boise State. San Diego defeated Air Force 73-60 while Boise State was a 67-61 winner over UNLV.