Jan. 3, 2012
OREM, Utah -- Keith Thompson's potential go-ahead bucket was waived off with ten seconds remaining and Wyoming iced the game at the free throw line as UVU dropped a tight one, 76-70, Tuesday night in the UCCU Center in front of a season-high 6,556 fans.
"I like the way we competed. I like the way stayed with the game and the way we kept fighting," said UVU head coach Dick Hunsaker. "We had to come up with a plan that we thought would give us the best opportunity to win and we played well enough to win the game, it just didn't happen."
Trailing 68-61 with just 4:01 remaining in regulation, the Wolverines (7-10) put together a late surge to recapture the lead from the Cowboys (13-2). Two sets of free throws from Holton Hunsaker and Alfonzo Hubbard pulled UVU to within three at 3:19.
UW's Leonard Washington made a free throw to push the lead back to four, but Isiah Williams would score five consecutive points to give the Wolverines their first lead since the 19:06 mark earlier in the half.
Williams pushed the ball up the floor after Washington missed his second free throw, and buried an NBA-range three to cut the deficit to just one at 69-68. UVU forced a turnover on their next defensive possession, and it was Williams again, knocking down a leaner in the lane to push the Wolverines ahead 70-69 with 1:55 to play.
Both teams failed to score on their subsequent possessions, but UW found Leonard Washington in the post for a layup with just 34.5 seconds remaining to reclaim the advantage, 71-70.
With the shot clock off, UVU worked the ball in the offensive zone for a final shot until, attacking from the wing, Thompson drove hard to the hoop and rose to attempt a layup while colliding with Washington near the rim. Thompson's finger roll dropped in, but was waived off as he was whistled for an offensive foul, returning possession to Wyoming with just 10 seconds on the clock.
The Cowboys would close out the game at the free throw line to capture a 76-70 victory.
Despite the loss, the Wolverines became the first team all season to eclipse 60 points against Wyoming, which entered the contest ranked third nationally in scoring defense.
Williams' 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including a 5-for-7 performance from three, led all scorers in the game. Thompson scored 13 points, while Ben Aird and Hubbard each added 10 to round out UVU's double-digit performers. Geddes Robinson also snatched a game-high 11 rebounds.
Hunsaker went 6-for-6 from the foul line to extend what is now his career-long streak for consecutive free throws made to 39. The streak is the second longest in school history (Ryan Toolson, 52).
Francisco Cruz scored 21 points to lead Wyoming.
UVU returns to action on Saturday when it plays host to the Seattle University Redhawks for a 7 p.m. contest in the UCCU Center. The game is the first in a home-and-home series between UVU and SU, with the Wolverines traveling to Seattle for the return leg next Friday.