UNLV came to Laramie looking to get another win and wanting to get a top 25 ranking. The Cowboys welcomed the Rebels into the AA hoping to pull off another statement win. Both teams entered the game in need of this win. UNLV is looking to be nationally recognized to get up there with SDSU and BYU; Wyoming wanted to prevent them from achieving this goal while gaining momentum before going on the road. On Saturday the Cowboys take a trip to San Diego to play the #4 team in the nation and wanted a win going into that game. The game started good for Wyoming as they got out to an early five point lead. The Cowboys then picked up a few questionable fouls letting the Rebels tie the game. The rest of the half was a struggle as both teams were fighting to get on top and stay there. There was about a three minute time frame where neither team scored any points. Both teams were playing tough defense preventing either team from getting open looks. With just under three minutes to go in the half Cruz hit a three to tie the game and give Wyoming confidence. Desmar then got three points the old fashioned way followed by a short jumper by Cruz to give the Cowboys a five point lead. With ten seconds left Wyoming forced a turnover but was unable to score again before the end of the half. Even without a final second shot the Cowboys entered the half with a 31–23 lead. The second half was like watching a different game as Wyoming struggled and UNLV did not. UNLV opened the second half with a quick basket and Wyoming answered a few seconds later. The first few minutes both teams just traded baskets without missing a shot; this streak was broken when Luster missed a jumper. Not long after that the Rebels had the lead down to only two. Wyoming took a timeout to regroup which seemed to work as they came back with thunder. Desmar was fouled on a layup giving him a chance to bring the lead back to five. After this point Wyoming began to struggle and the Rebels took advantage of this. After taking the lead the Rebels had an answer for everything Wyoming did. Wyoming dug themselves into a hole in the second half that once in they could not get out of. With a little over five minutes left Wyoming started to play like they did in the first half again. They were getting their rhythm back but at about this time Anthony scored four quick points for the Rebels to regain the momentum. At the end of the game UNLV was on fire and Wyoming could not get anything to go their way. The Rebels were knocking down shots and Wyoming could not get shots to fall. Wyoming put up a fight but it was not enough to overcome the Rebels almost flawless second half play. In the end UNLV got a 74–65 win over the Cowboys.
In the first half the Cowboys held UNLV to 31% shooting while shooting 41.4%. Wyoming also won the battle of points in the paint and scored more points off turnovers. The first half of the game was one of Wyoming’s best halves this season. Given the quality of opponent they really could not have played better. The second half the Rebels moved the ball better and the Cowboys struggled to get stops. UNLV got 14 assists on 21 baskets in the half which led to 65.6% shooting; when a team shoots that well in a half it is hard to beat them. Wyoming shot the ball 43.6% on the game but they wish they would have shot better at home. One of the biggest problems for the Cowboys was rebounding. The Rebels dominated the boards which was a big factor in them taking this game. The Cowboys missed five free throws in the second half which hurt them; making these shots could have helped them turn the game around. Wyoming played a good game but UNLV is a good team and played a little better.
“If we get stops we can run and score” was a quote that stood out from Cruz. They did this well in the first half but in the second half UNLV shot lights out. Coach Schroyer mainly talked about how they played well in the first half but not in the second half. The players and Schroyer said that communication in the second half was a problem. In the first half the team was playing good help defense but in the second half they did not do this as well. The Cowboys followed the ball but this left players open and they claimed better communication would have solved this problem. Wyoming has now dropped four straight games but Schroyer keeps pointing out that the Mountain West is a strong league. Somebody has to lose in every game and when you play in a quality league getting wins is not an easy task. The MWC is a tough conference this year and ranks higher than a few conferences that are usually basketball powers such as the ACC. On the surface the Cowboys do not appear to be doing very well but when they are looked at deeper they are not doing that bad. The MWC is really strong this year, Wyoming is not playing at 100% health this year and they brought a number of new players into the team this year. Given these circumstances Wyoming is doing better than their record shows.