6:00 PM ET, January 24, 2004
Arena-Auditorium, Laramie, Wyoming
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- UNLV came in looking to shut down Wyoming's hot-shooting David Adams. The Rebels ended up shutting down just about every Cowboy en route to a 76-62 win Saturday.In Mountain West Conference play, Adams had made 10 of 15 from the 3-point line and was averaging 15 points. Against the Rebels, he was 1 of 3 from the arc and finished with 10 points."He lit us up last year, and we went into the game knowing that if we helped off him we're going to have to get (back on him) very quickly because he can really shoot it," UNLV coach Charlie Spoonhour said.Adams agreed the Rebels' game plan worked."After my first couple 3s, I really tried to make an effort to drive the ball because they were really flying at me," he said. "So I was trying to drive it to the hole and make something happen for other people."But the other Cowboys couldn't deliver and UW finished at 38 percent shooting to the Rebels' 48 percent.Defensively, the Cowboys weren't into it mentally, Adams said."You don't match the intensity of the other team, they're just going to run over you," he said.Ordartey Blankson scored 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds and J.K. Edwards had 14 points and 10 boards to lead UNLV, which never trailed. James Peters and Romel Beck added 11 and 10 points, respectively for the Rebels (10-5, 1-2 MWC).Jay Straight led Wyoming (8-9, 1-3) with 14 points but was 5 of 16 from the floor, including 0-for-7 from the arc. Joe Ries added 10 points and 10 rebounds.Edwards scored 10 points in the first nine minutes on an array of short and long jumpers, helping Vegas break from a 4-4 tie to a 24-12 lead."Coach has been telling me all week to score, score, because we need more points in the paint," he said. "I just (tried to) outrun people and tried to score as much as I can, and basically everything fell for me."The margin reached 40-26 after three straight turnovers by the Cowboys before UNLV settled for a 40-31 halftime lead.UNLV built its biggest lead, 51-35, on a steal and dunk by Louis Amundson with 16:37 remaining.The Cowboys went on a 12-2 roll to draw within 53-47 on a free throw by Alex Dunn with 9:21 left, but the Rebels jumped back up by 10 on a 3-pointer by Beck and foul shot by Blankson over the next 54 seconds.Beck's layup with 6:19 remaining boosted the Rebels' lead to 62-50 and Wyoming never got closer than seven down the stretch.The Rebels knew that if they let the Cowboys get close, it would be tough to regain momentum, Edwards said."They get the crowd behind them, this is a tough place to try to chase from behind because of the (thin) air," he said. "You really have to work as hard as you can. We just basically tried to keep the lead so we could run our pace instead of get into that frenetic game that they play."Beck's 3-pointer that put the Rebels up 56-47 with 9:01 left was a backbreaker. Until then, the crowd had been taunting him for a first-half air ball."The team has got great confidence in me and the coaches said if you've got a wide-open shot, crack it, and I've got faith in my shot and I stepped up and hit a big shot," he said.The Cowboys were coming off two strong road games but came out listless."I think we might have kind of taken that for granted, being at home and we came out really flat in the first half," Ries said. "I don't think we matched their physicalness enough tonight."Late in the first half, Adams drew Wyoming within 34-26 on a 3-pointer, but then the Cowboys turned the ball over three straight times and fell behind 40-26 on Blankson's high-arcing hook with 1:27 left.The Cowboys sank only 2 of 18 3-pointers (11 percent)."Of all the 18 3's we took, I'd say three of them were bad and the rest were wide-open looks," Wyoming coach Steve McClain said. "It was one of those nights where they don't go down, but we created that early with our lack of defensive intensity and that made us soft on both the offensive and defensive ends."Wyoming big man Mory Correa went down with a sprained ankle with 3:50 left in the first half and finished with three points and five rebounds. Without his inside presence, UNLV easily won the rebound battle 42-33.Correa will be X-rayed, and his status was unknown for Monday's home game against San Diego State.UNLV visits Colorado State on Monday.