LARAMIE, Wyo. – Justin James scored on a fast break after a steal, Hayden Dalton threw down back-to-back dunks and Nyaires Redding hit a pair of free throws with 1 second left as Wyoming slammed the door on Eastern Washington 93-88 in overtime in nonconference men’s basketball Tuesday night.
EWU has been on a 10-game road since Nov. 12 and has lost its last five.
“Everything they had in the tank they emptied today,” Eagles head coach Shantay Legans said. “It’s tough to lose this game, but we are going to get better and we just have to be smarter at the end of games.”
The Eagles were looking to defeat a Mountain West Conference rival for the first time since 2002. EWU rushed ahead 9-0 and 16-5 and led by as many as 13 points in the first half.
But Wyoming rallied from a six-point deficit with 33 seconds left in regulation. The Cowboys outscored Eastern 22-11 in the final 6 minutes of regulation and OT.
Dalton finished with 28 points. His dunk after Alan Herndon stole a pass tied the game at 78 with 9 seconds left in regulation.
Dalton hit back-to-back jumpers for the Cowboys (8-3) to start the OT. James picked up his third double-double in four games with 20 points and 10 boards.
Senior Bogdan Bliznyuk led the Eagles (3-8) with 30 points – his ninth career game with at least 30 points. His free throw with 33 seconds left gave the Eagles a 75-69 lead. He also missed a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left that would have sent the game into a second overtime.
EWU freshman Jack Perry hit his first five shots and finished with a career-high 17 points with seven assists. Ty Gibson hit five 3-pointers and scored 15.
The Eagles hit 15 3-pointers and hung with Wyoming in a game in which the lead was swapped seven times and tied five times.
The teams last met in March in the opening round of the College Basketball Invitational, with Wyoming knocking out EWU 91-81.
After 36 days without a home game, Eastern with host CSUN at 1:05 p.m. Sunday.
“I’m really excited about this team,” Legans said. “When we get back to Cheney, we’ll be ready to go against Northridge.”
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