Laramie, WY – Leonard Washington and Francisco Cruz netted 16 66, on Saturday.
Luke Martinez added 15 points and Adam Waddell contributed 14 for Wyoming (18-5, 4-3 Mountain West), which won for the fourth time in six games and had its coach beaming afterward.
"There can't be a coach anywhere that is prouder of how their team has played this season than I am of this group of guys," said Larry Shyatt. "They executed all the keys that we talked about leading up to this game, and they played with such great energy tonight."
Quintrell Thomas led the Runnin' Rebels (21-4, 5-2) with 15 points. Oscar Bellfield and Anthony Marshall both scored 12 while Mike Moser had 11 points and 11 rebounds for UNLV, which shot 49 percent from the floor but made just 3-of-14 shots from beyond the arc.
"I'm proud of our guys. It wasn't their best stuff out there, and a lot of it had to do with Wyoming's preparation," said UNLV coach Dave Rice. "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, but that didn't happen. We got good looks at the end, but it didn't happen."
Wyoming trailed by a score of 11-9 after Bellfield's three-pointer five minutes into the first half, but answered with seven straight points, including five by Cruz, to jump out to a 16-11 advantage.
That lead stretched to 27-19 with less than seven minutes remaining in the half before Thomas reeled off five points in an 8-0 spurt to knot the game at 27.
It remained a one-possession game over the next 3 1/2 minutes until the Cowboys scored the final seven points of the half to take a 42-36 lead into the break.
The Cowboys' lead teetered between four and six points over the opening 4 1/2 minutes of the second half until an 11-4 swing by UNLV put them ahead, 53-52, with under 11 minutes to play.
The lead then changed hands two times before a 13-4 run by Wyoming gave them their largest lead of the game at 67-59.
Marshall put an end to the run with a jumper, but neither team recorded a basket over the next three-plus minutes until Marshall's layup cut the deficit to four with two minutes left in the game.
Each team swapped 1-of-2 free throws to make it 68-64, and Thomas' dunk brought UNLV within two with 53 seconds left and after a timeout, Martinez's three-pointer rimmed out.
UNLV came down with the rebound and took it down the court, but Marshall's game-tying driving layup was no good and UNLV failed to convert on the tip-in to give Wyoming the win.
Wyoming improved to 13-0 this season when leading at the half...UNLV holds a 28-15 lead in the all-time series, but Wyoming holds a 12-8 advantage in Laramie...UNLV held a 28-21 advantage on the glass.