"That was a heckuva college basketball game by two great teams in a great environment," said Rams' coach Dale Layer. "They just executed some of the tougher things a little better than we did."
Colorado State took a 77-76 lead with 33.7 seconds remaining in the game on forward Brian Geene's follow shot. But Wyoming's Donta Richardson, who scored 22 points, hit a runner with just more than 20 seconds to play that put Wyoming ahead to stay, 78-77. Richardson sealed the win with a free throw with 5.7 seconds left. Birley's three-pointer at the buzzer was long.
The loss spoils the Rams' 14-game homecourt win streak, which tied for the longest in Moby Arena history and is the third longest overall in school history. Colorado State is now 13-5 overall, 2-1 in the Mountain West heading into a two-game road trip next week at San Diego State (Feb. 1) and UNLV (Feb. 3). Wyoming is now 15-3, 3-0.
Wyoming lead 9-1 early in the game before the Rams battled back to trail by a point, 31-30 at the half. The teams exchanged six leads in the first half, and nine more the final 20 minutes of play.
Colorado State was led by Matt Nelson's 23 points, while Birley had 16 and Greene 13. Richardson and teammate Jay Straight tied for team and game honors with 22 points apiece.