Denver 72

(5-6, 1-5 away)

Wyoming 78

(7-5, 5-2 home)

    9:00 PM ET, January 4, 2005

    Arena-Auditorium, Laramie, Wyoming

    1 2 T
    DEN 36 3672
    WYO 34 4478

    Top Performers

    Denver: Y. Nicholson 22 Pts, 13 Reb, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    Wyoming: A. Dunn 15 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 4 Blk

    Wyoming 78, Denver 72

    LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- When the offense is struggling, it helps to crank up the defense, and get a lift from the bench.

    Those ingredients helped Wyoming during a seven-minute game-changing stretch midway through the second half in a 78-72 win over Denver on Tuesday, snapping a two-game skid.

    Denver, which led 36-34 at the half after shooting 48 percent, was held to 31 percent after intermission.

    "Justin Williams had a little something to do with that," Wyoming coach Steve McClain said. "He really came in and gave us a lift, and just played hard."

    Williams, shaking off a sore knee, had two of his eight blocked shots and led a crash to the boards during the Cowboys' 21-6 roll that erased an eight-point deficit.

    The Pokes (7-5) also found their range from the arc, with Jerry Webb and Jay Straight each sinking a pair of 3-pointers during the spurt, which turned a 54-46 Denver lead into a 67-60 Wyoming advantage.

    Straight's layup tied it at 58, then his second 3-pointer put the Cowboys ahead for good at the 8:30 mark.

    The senior guard finished with a team-high 21 points, including 11 during the critical stretch.

    Alex Dunn added 15 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots for Wyoming, while Webb led a strong effort by the reserves with 11. Wyoming's bench outscored Denver's 23-6.

    "Maybe we're starting to understand the point of 'Don't sit on the bench and pout because you're not playing," McClain said. "Be ready to go in and play when you get the opportunity."

    Yemi Nicholson led the Pioneers, who led 18-8 early, with 22 points, while Erik Benzel and Antonio Porch added 14 each and Rodney Billups 12.

    The Cowboys improved to 43-5 in nonconference games at the Arena-Auditorium under McClain, and 75-15 in home games.

    Wyoming shot 64 percent in the second half to finish at 51 percent for the game. Denver (5-6) wound up at 40 percent.

    The Cowboys won the rebound battle 42-33, although Nicholson had a game-high 13, and UW had 14 blocks to the Pioneers' four.

    Wyoming opens Mountain West Conference play at New Mexico on Saturday.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 72 78
    FG Made-Attempted 24-61 (.393) 29-56 (.518)
    3P Made-Attempted 5-14 (.357) 5-15 (.333)
    FT Made-Attempted 19-29 (.655) 15-26 (.577)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 6 8

    2004-05 Season

    » Jan 4, 2005 @WYO 78, DEN 72Recap