LARAMIE, Wyo. –The Rebels handled everything Wyoming threw at them.
And Heath Schroyer ran out of options—and time.
UNLV handed the Cowboys their 10th conference loss of the year, holding off a late Wyoming rally to grab a 73-65 victory on Saturday.
"Give UNLV a lot of credit," the Pokes' first-year head coach said. "They're as good as advertised.
"We just didn't have an answer for a lot of their personnel."
The answers were hardest to come by when the ball was in the hands of UNLV's Wink Adams, who finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.
"Wink really hurt us," Schroyer said. "We just struggled with the matchup with Wink, to be honest. He's just so big and strong."
Adams' 10 boards matched a career high.
"It's always good to get a double-double," he said. "I'm only 5-10, so it feels good."
Adams knocked in three 3-pointers against the Pokes and finished the game 8-of-15 from the field. The last time Wyoming faced UNLV, a Jan. 23 matchup in Las Vegas, he put up a career-high 33 points.
"(Adams) knows what it takes to play in a big-time game," said Wyoming guard Brandon Ewing, who had 20 points and six assists for the Cowboys on Saturday. "Even though we're not having the season that we're supposed to have, coming here…they know what we're capable of doing, so he knew he had to come and show up or his team would have lost tonight. He performed tonight and had a great game, and I take my hat off to him."
Adams scored 10 points and dished out three assists in the second half, and fellow guard Curtis Terry hit three 3-pointers to help the Rebels build a 15-point lead late in the game.
Wyoming scored 17 of the final 25 points, but time ran out before they could get closer than eight points down.
The Rebels held the Cowboys to 37 percent shooting on the day while hitting more than 44 percent of their own shots. They also held Wyoming's two centers, Mikhail Linskens and Travis Nelson, to 0-of-10 from the field combined.
"Wyoming has a lot of guys that can score, and we didn't do anything different to defend them," UNLV head coach Lon Kruger said. "We just tried to make them work for their shots, and we did for the most part."
Rene Rougeau scored 16 points for UNLV, and Matt Shaw added 12.
Ewing's 20 points led all Wyoming scorers in the game. The junior point guard has now scored 20 or more points 10 times this season and 33 times in his career. He moved ahead of Tony Windis (1,465 points from 1957-59) into sole possession of 13th place on UW's all-time scoring list with 1,483 career points.
Tyson Johnson added 16 points and eight rebounds for the Cowboys, and Ryan Dermody scored 13.
Shaw scored nine points during a four-minute stretch midway through the first half that saw the Rebels go on a 12-4 run and take a 17-11 lead. Johnson answered with a bucket, and Ewing scored four straight points to tie the score at 17.
That was as close as the Cowboys would make things the rest of the game, however; Adams converted a three-point play and hit a pair of free throws to give the Rebels a 22-17 advantage with five and a half minutes left in the first half. Ewing scored four more points before halftime, but Adams hit a 3-pointer and a long two in the final 1:07 to give UNLV a 34-26 lead at the break.
"Their guards are big and strong," Schroyer said. "We wanted to try and make their big men take jump shots rather than let their guards get good looks. But to their credit, their big men knocked down shots.
"We went and said, ‘Okay, we're going to…go under the ball screen, and then Terry and Wink pulled up behind and knocked down 22-footers."
The Cowboys fell to 10-16 overall with the loss and 3-10 in Mountain West Conference play. UNLV, meanwhile, improved to 20-6 overall and 9-3 in league competition.
The Pokes will be back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 27 to take on Colorado State in Fort Collins. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m.
Adams' Double-Double Propels UNLV past Pokes
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