In a defensive game, UNLV coach Dave Rice thought it was best not to call a timeout as his team sought to tie or win in the last 22 seconds.
"As good as Wyoming is with their set defense, I thought it was better for us to go ahead," Rice said. "And we got two very good looks. ... No second guessing on that."
UNLV's Anthony Marshall missed a layup with about 5 seconds left and Mike Moser missed a long jumper after grabbing the rebound as the No. 11 Runnin' Rebels saw their five-game win streak snapped 68-66 by the Cowboys on Saturday.
"I had the opportunity to make some things happen," Marshall said. "I didn't come through like I was supposed to, being one of the leaders on this team."
Rice credited Wyoming for forcing UNLV (21-4, 5-2 Mountain West) into a game in which the Runnin's Rebels shot 49 percent from the field, including 3 of 14 from 3-point range.
"We didn't have our best stuff, but we found a way to keep ourselves in the game and give ourselves a shot at a win, to get an overtime," he said.
Last week, UNLV won overtime games against Boise State and Air Force.
Leonard Washington and Francisco Cruz scored 16 points apiece for Wyoming, which won its first game against a top 25 team since beating No. 24 Utah in 2000.
Luke Martinez had 15 points — all on 3-pointers — and Adam Waddell scored 14 for Wyoming (18-5, 4-3). The win also snapped a four-game losing streak against UNLV.
Quintrell Thomas led UNLV with 15 points. Marshall and Oscar Bellfield contributed 12 apiece.
But UNLV, which entered the game averaging 80.6 points a game, had a difficult time running its fast-break offense.
"We just had to sort of ... hold the fort down those first six to eight seconds (of UNLV's possession)," Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt said.
Wyoming built a 42-36 halftime lead behind a balanced scoring attack that saw four players — led by Martinez' 12 — scoring in double figures. The Cowboys held UNLV's two leading scorers — Moser and Chace Stanback — to just 2 points apiece before the break. Both Moser and Stanback entered the game averaging over 14 points a game, but neither scored until the last 3 minutes of the half. Moser finished the game with 11 points, and Stanback failed to score in the second half.
"I couldn't make a shot," said a frustrated Moser, who was 4 of 12 from the floor. "I didn't know what was going on. I still don't."
The Runnin' Rebels rallied to take a 53-52 lead on a bank shot by Reggie Smith.
After the teams traded baskets, the Cowboys went on an 8-0 run sparked by two buckets from Washington to go ahead 62-55 with 6:45 left.
Wyoming's JayDee Luster sank a 3-pointer — his only shot from the field for the game — at the 5:43 mark to put Wyoming ahead 67-59.
Shyatt said he had no reservations about Luster taking the long shot.
UNLV pulled to 67-64 on five unanswered points by Marshall with 1:38 remaining.
Luster sank a free throw before Thomas scored with 52 seconds left to pull UNLV within 2 points. Wyoming milked the shot clock down before Martinez missed his 3-point attempt, setting up the final defensive stand by Wyoming.
"I got to the rim; I had a chance at it; I just didn't connect," Marshall lamented afterward. "I felt like I didn't step up. ... I felt like that's on me."
Moser pulled down 10 rebounds to grab his 13th double-double of the season.