RENO, Nev., -- If Jeff Linder was trying to light a fire under his players, that plan failed in miserable fashion.

Wyoming's fourth-year head coach, after using some colorful language to express his displeasure with an offensive foul call on the opposite end of the floor, received a pair of technical fouls during a timeout and an early shower Tuesday night inside Lawlor Events Center.

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Already trailing by 10 with 7:36 remaining in the first half, Nevada drilled three of its freebies from the stripe before closing out the frame on a 20-7 run.

This eventual 76-58 rout was as ugly as it sounds.

The Cowboys (13-13, 6-7) shot just 26.1% from the field over the first 20 minutes. That included just six made baskets. Tack on 10 turnovers and you have a real disaster on your hands. The visitors netted just 21 points in that time frame. Nevada, 44.

Allowing the opposition to click on 53.6% of its chances, including nearly 50 from beyond the arc, leads to nights like this one.

This wasn't the Wolf Pack (21-6, 8-5) team that watched 98 points go in the hole in a loss in Laramie back in late January.

Wyoming, again, was dreadful from deep in Reno, connecting on just 5-of-19 attempts. Sam Griffin, who scored a game-high 26 in the first meeting and was named the Mountain West's Player of the Week, finished with just six points on 2-of-9 shooting. His running mate, Akuel Kot, capped his night with three, all of which came at the free-throw line.

Linder said no one on this shortened bench can afford to have an off-night.

If these two starting guards do, start chiseling the tombstone.

"Those guys have to be a little bit more efficient, get off the ball a little bit more and be cleaner," acting head coach Ken DeWeese said, referring to Griffin and Kot, who shot a combined 2-of-16 from the field and added three turnovers. "But, you know, good game plan. You have to give Nevada credit. Those guys came out ready to play like an NCAA tournament team."

Kenan Blackshear and Jarod Lucas didn't get caught off guard this time around. Nevada's guard tandem also added 29 points, nine assists and the same number of rebounds. They were also credited with a pair of steals.

Tre Coleman led all scorers with 20. He drilled four triples.

The senior feasts on the Cowpokes.

Coleman netted 23 inside the Arena-Auditorium, to go along with four assists and steals and five boards. Last season, he also scored 22 in an 80-71 loss in Laramie.

DeWeese, who scouted the Wolf Pack this week, said you have to pick your poison with an offense like this that averages 76.2 points per game.

Wyoming got venom from all comers Tuesday night.

"You see if somebody else can go have a game and try and beat you," he said of the attempt to lock down Blackshear and Lucas. "Tre Coleman, to start the game -- he had a game -- put them in position to go beat us. So, you know, at the end of the day, we've got to be able to keep pace a little bit more and score the ball better and more efficiently."

If only it was that easy, huh?

If you're looking for bright spots, sure, there were a couple.

Brendan Wenzel continues to play well despite still battling an illness. He paced the Pokes with 17 points and hit a trio of threes. As always, the senior from San Antonio also draws the toughest defensive assignment.

He did what he could against Lucas.

The Nevada senior, who netted his 2,000th-career point in this one, drilled a second-half triple from the far corner while coasting into his own bench. He was probably behind the basket when the ball left his right hand.

"He's really come on," DeWeese said of Wenzel. "I mean, obviously, he wasn't proud of the way he played in the non-conference (season) and starting the first part of conference. But, you know, now we're getting the guy that we thought we'd have all year. Credit to him."

Cam Manyawu, for the sixth time this season, finished with a double-double on a 12-point, dozen-rebound night. The true freshman has hit double-figures three times in his last five outings.

Kael Combs played just 12 minutes. He scored seven points and snagged a board. The freshman guard has been impressive in spurts and should see more court time, especially with the big two buckled in firmly on the struggle bus.

The scoring droughts, defensive lapses and subpar interior play continues to plague this group. Nevada finished with seven blocks. Saturday night in a win at San Jose State, the Spartans were credited with three. The outing before that, Utah State swatted eight.

Wyoming? Zero.

This team has been outscored in the paint in every conference game but three. All of those -- Air Force, Colorado State and San Jose State -- were victories. In the other 10? Opponents have an eye-popping 370-238 advantage.

The "Comeback Cowboys" thing is a nice story.

They overcame double-digit deficits in five games, including the 11-points-in-55-seconds miracle against CSU. How many of these losses, though, have come by 10 or more?

All but one.

That was an eight-point setback last week at home against Utah State that could have easily been added to this list.

How about we see the "Competitive Cowboys" instead?

University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

During the summer of 2021, counted down the Top 50 football players in University of Wyoming history, presented by Premier Bone & Joint Centers, Worthy of Wyoming.

The rules are simple: What was the player's impact while in Laramie? That means NFL stats, draft status or any other accolade earned outside of UW is irrelevant when it comes to this list.

This isn't a one-man job. This task called for a panel of experts. Joining 7220's Cody Tucker are Robert GagliardiJared NewlandRyan Thorburn, and Kevin McKinney.

We all compiled our own list of 50 and let computer averages do the work. Think BCS -- only we hope this catalog is fairer.

Don't agree with a selection? Feel free to sound off on our Twitter: @7220sports - #Top50UWFB

Gallery Credit:

- University of Wyoming’s Top 50 Football Players

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