LARAMIE, Wyo. Brad Jones scored 20 points in leading Wyoming to a 72-64 victory over Utah on Saturday.
Utah kept within range as the game wound down but the Cowboys prevailed on free throws.
Jones hit two 3-pointers toward a 17-6 run that gave Wyoming (12-16, 5-10 Mountain West Conference) a 45-34 lead with about 12 minutes left. Utah responded, with Johnnie Bryant scoring a pair of 3-pointers to help the Utes (15-12, 6-8) pull within 49-45 with 7:03 left.
"It was a great game, and we stepped up and made plays when we had to," Wyoming coach Heath Schroyer said.
Utah came within four points four more times. But Wyoming sealed the win by making 12 of 12 free throws in the final 6 minutes.
"We work on it a lot," Schroyer said of the Cowboys' free throw shooting. "We emphasize it every day. We shoot them every day for 15 minutes or so. It's a big part of the game, and I think the guys are starting to value how important they are."
Jones scored half his points on free throws, a perfect 10 of 10. Brandon Ewing added 14 points and dished out five assists, while Joseph Taylor and Tyson Johnson each scored 12.
"The discrepancy was at the free throw line," Utah head coach Jim Boylen said. "We had 16 more shots than they did, but Wyoming had 17 more free throws."
Luke Nevill led the Utes with 22 points. Bryant finished with 15 points, and Luka Drca scored 12 for Utah.
The game began with a 19-12 Wyoming lead. The Utes used an 11-3 run to get up 23-22 but Wyoming recovered for a 28-24 lead at the half.