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Wyoming 61, Dayton 59

1/3/2004

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- After a 9-minute drought that allowed
Dayton to complete a rally from 19 points down, Wyoming got the
ball in the hands of David Adams in the closing seconds.

It was the right move.

With the Flyers' Mark Jones all over him, Adams launched an
inelegant 16-footer just to the right of the free-throw line.

The ball rattled around and finally sank into the netting as the
buzzer sounded, lifting Wyoming to 61-59 victory on Saturday.

"I thought I had pretty nice form," Adams said with a smile.
"No, hey, it wasn't definitely the prettiest shot in the world,
but it doesn't matter how it looks. It only matters if it goes
in."

The Flyers, who had outscored the Cowboys 16-0 from the 9:24
mark until Adams' heroics, were left stunned.

"It's one of those things where it seems like it's up there
forever," said Dayton's Keith Waleskowski of the game-winner. "It
was an awkward looking shot, off-balance and everything. You can't
ask Mark to play any better defense on it.

"At first it looked like it was going in and I thought, 'Ohhhhh
no,' and then it rattled around, and I could feel it -- it was like
'Yes! Yes!' -- and then it went back in and it was like, 'Dammit!"

Adams spoiled a brilliant comeback by the Flyers, who trailed
37-18 late in the first half and 59-43 at the 9:50 mark of the
second half.

"I've been through those as an assistant on both ends. It hurts
a lot more as the head coach," Dayton coach Brian Gregory said.

"We played hard in the first half, just didn't execute," he
said. "The Adams kid, I really like as a player. I think he's a
hell of a player."

Jay Straight led Wyoming with 13, while Alex Dunn had 11 points
and 11 rebounds. Adams wound up with 10 points.

The Flyers' Ramod Marshall led all scorers with 24, while
Waleskowski had 13.

Dayton (10-3) fell behind 37-18 but rallied to tie at 59 on
seven straight points by Marshall, including a 12-foot jumper in
the lane with 2:35 left.

Dunn missed inside for Wyoming (7-4) and Waleskowski misfired
for Dayton.

David Rottinghaus then was unsuccessful on a 3-point try for
Wyoming, but Adams rebounded for the Cowboys, only to see Dunn
throw the ball away to the Flyers' Marques Bennett with a minute to
go.

Jones missed a 3-pointer from the right side with 34 seconds
left and Dunn rebounded, setting up Adams' game-winner.

Straight was happy for the win but perplexed as to why the
Cowboys let a 19-point lead slip away.

"We've got to find some ways to get some buckets down the
stretch," he said. " ... Fortunately tonight we had a little bit
of juice left to finish it out."

Wyoming coach Steve McClain said some close shots for his team
wouldn't fall just as Dayton was rallying.

"We had two or three shots inside that kind of rolled in and
out on us that would have kept the lead at eight or 10. ... They
(the Flyers) might have got a little more aggressive, but we just
didn't finish some plays."

Of the last play, he said, "We wanted to go toward the rim. The
key was if we missed, they wouldn't have had a chance to win in
regulation."

Gregory and the Flyers said a 16-hour road trip, marked by a
canceled flight and unanticipated bus trip to Cincinnati, was not a
factor.

"You're going to be faced with all sorts of obstacles," he
said. "There's going to be some plane delays and late nights. ...
I was proud of our guys. They didn't use that or the altitude (as
an excuse)."

Wyoming led 59-43 with 9:24 left on a basket by Dunn, then went
cold until Adams' final shot.

Wyoming held Dayton to eight points over the final nine minutes
of the first half and led 39-23 at the break.

Waleskowski and Sean Finn each had nine rebounds to lead Dayton.
Both teams had 33 boards.

Wyoming had a slight shooting advantage, 45 percent to 44
percent.

Dayton has lost three of four after starting 9-0 and reaching
No. 23 in the Associated Press poll.