No Matt Nelson, no problem.
Without 7-foot center Matt Nelson, the Rams found victory,
thanks to freshman Dwight Boatner’s last second heroics. Boatner’s
game-winning bucket led to the Rams squeezing out a 75-74 overtime
victory, their third in as many games, Saturday night in the first
installment of the heated rivalry between the two teams.
“Coming here, I thought the CSU-CU game was a big deal,” Boatner
said. “I had no idea that this game was this huge.”
In a game that saw the two heavyweights exchange punches all
night, it took the awareness and hustle of the 5-11 freshman to
deliver the knockout punch that brought the Rams back to .500 in
With 12 seconds left, and down by one, Boatner came up with a
steal that brought the packed house at Moby Arena to its feet.
But at half court, a Wyoming player pushed Boatner and, hoping
for a foul, he picked up the ball expecting a whistle.
When no whistle came, Boatner had to heave up a desperation
half-court shot that found only the backboard.
Luckily for the Rams, the scrappy freshman had the presence of
mind to run down his own rebound, and lay it in between two Cowboy
“I just had to heave it up,” Boatner said of his shot. “I had no
idea what was going to happen. But when I got the rebound, I was
sure that it would go in.”
Wyoming, who has now fallen to 9-10, and 2-4 in the Mountain
West conference, had one last chance to win it, but David Adams’
desperation shot with 2 seconds on the clock fell short, and the
Moby fans rushed onto the court to celebrate the Rams’ victory.
“I thought David got fouled on the shot,” Wyoming head coach
Steve McClain said. “But the refs are not going to call it, and
that is the way it should be.”
If it weren’t for free throws the Rams probably would not have
won the game. The Rams hit 28 of their 36 attempts, while Wyoming
was 12-of-13 from the line. Wyoming was led by 5-11 junior guard
Jay Straight, who scored 26 points, while going 4-for-4 from the
“Straight is the most complete point guard in our league,” Rams
coach Dale Layer said. “I have said that ever since Day 1.”
With the victory, the Rams improve to 11-8 and 3-3 in the MWC.
They now must hit the road to face the New Mexico Lobos on Saturday
at the Pit.