The Cowboys opened both halves of Wednesday night's basketball game with a bevy of turnovers.
Hot shooting bailed them out in the first period.
But UNLV's Wink Adams sunk them in the second.
Adams scored a career-high 33 points, and the Rebels orchestrated a 15-point second half turnaround to hand Wyoming its fifth straight conference loss, 78-71.
Wyoming's Mikhail Linskens set the tone early, turning the ball over twice in the first minute and a half. Joseph Taylor got tied up in a jump-ball situation at the 18-minute mark to prompt turnover number three.
Adams responded with a 3-pointer, and two more UW turnovers set up a bucket by Rene Rougeau that gave UNLV a 5-0 advantage. Tyson Johnson provided the Pokes' sixth turnover, an offensive charge with 16:45 on the clock, and Ryan Dermody was whistled for traveling just two minutes later.
In all, the Cowboys gave the ball up seven times in the game's first five and a half minutes while the Rebels built a 10-2 lead.
But Dermody hit a 3-pointer with 14:05 to play in the period, lighting a fire under Wyoming's offensive attack and sparking a dramatic two-man comeback. Brandon Ewing followed Dermody's 3-pointer with four straight from long range for the Cowboys to cut the lead to 18-17. Another Dermody 3-pointer at the 8:47-mark tied the score at 20, and the sophomore hit a third bucket from beyond the arc three minutes later to give the Pokes a 31-24 lead.
The duo combined for 23 first-half points, and Wyoming took a 40-32 advantage into the break, despite finishing the period with nine turnovers.
But the Cowboys opened the second half the same way they did the first. The Pokes gave up five quick turnovers in the period's opening minutes, and Adams hit a pair of 3-pointers during a 16-2 UNLV run that gave the Rebels a 48-42 lead. The Cowboys clawed their way back to tie the score at 60 with 5:20 remaining, but Adams scored 12 of the Rebels' final 16 points, including nine straight free throws at one point, to seal the win.
Ewing hit two more 3-pointers in the waning moments to finish with a season-high 26 points. The junior point guard also recorded a team-high nine rebounds.
It wasn't enough to overcome 18 Wyoming turnovers, however, and the Pokes fell to 6-11 overall while remaining winless in Mountain West Conference play. Conversely, the Rebels turned the ball over just two times on the night, improving to 14-4 overall—including seven wins in their last eight games—and 3-1 in conference play.
Wyoming will return to Laramie on Saturday to face Colorado State, the only other MWC team without a victory in league play this season.
Give it Away, Give it Away, Give it Away Now
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