Walters and Kot Rally Wyoming for a 79-76 Overtime Victory Over No. 24 Colorado State
- Published In: Other News & Features
- Last Updated: Jan 28, 2024
Sam Griffin (3) led the Cowboys with 24 points in an overtime upset victory against No. 24 Colorado State. With under one minute to go in regulation, Griffin scored seven points and assisted the game-tying layup from Mason Walters. (Photo courtesy of the University of Wyoming athletics)
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — Mason Walters scored at the buzzer to force overtime and Akuel Kot completed a four-point play in the final minute of the extra period, leading Wyoming to a 79-76 win over No. 24 Colorado State on Saturday night.
Sam Griffin scored 24 points to lead the Cowboys (11-9, 4-3 Mountain West), who trailed by 11 points with 1:11 remaining in regulation.
Isaiah Stevens finished with 17 points and nine assists, Patrick Cartier added 19 points and Colorado transfer Nique Clifford added 13 points and 12 rebounds to lead Colorado State (15-5, 3-4).
“Well, I’m not sure what to say. Speechless. I’m not sure what happened,” Wyoming head coach Jeff Linder said. “Looking up in the stands when you’re down 11 with 1:11 left, which I can’t blame the people for starting to turn and leave. Obviously, they missed probably the most special endings in the Border War rivalry.”
Wyoming, which failed to hit a field goal over an eight-minute span, rallied late and cut its deficit to 65-63. Walters missed the second of two free throws and the rebound went out of bounds off Colorado State’s Josiah Strong with 1.8 seconds left.
Walters scored in the paint at the buzzer to force OT. The reigning NAIA player of the year fouled out with 4:21 remaining in overtime after getting called for a flagrant foul.
Trailing 74-72, Kot hit a 3-pointer while being fouled and completed the four-point play to give the Cowboys a 76-74 lead with 27.5 seconds remaining in overtime.
Kot, who finished with 18 points, previously made game-winning shots at the buzzer to beat San Jose State and Fresno State.
Wyoming improved to 8-1 at home, including 4-0 in the rugged Mountain West.
“This is the craziest game I’ve ever been in,” said Griffin, a Tulsa graduate transfer who made the entry pass to Walters at the end of regulation. “It’s kind of like Tulsa and Wichita State, but this is a little more — the fans were a little more diehard about it.”
The win was Wyoming’s first over a ranked team since beating No. 23 Nevada in double-overtime during the 2017-18 season.
“One of the hardest losses,” a stunned CSU head coach Niko Medved said after watching Wyoming’s student body storm the court to celebrate. “I’m just really trying to process exactly what happened, especially because I thought our guys had a great mindset here tonight. We came out and fought, we guarded well. We played well at the end of the first half, and then in the second half I thought we had control of the game and did what we needed to to make the plays to win the game.”
Colorado State: The Rams fell to 0-4 on the road in Mountain West play after losing 77-64 at Nevada on Wednesday.
Wyoming: The Cowboys defeated Nevada, another potential NCAA Tournament team, 98-93 in their previous home game and were coming off a loss at San Diego State. Wyoming will be a tough opponent for contenders in Laramie.
Colorado State, one of three Mountain West teams in The Associated Press Top 25 poll along with No. 18 Utah State and No. 25 New Mexico, will fall out of the rankings after two road losses.
Colorado State: Hosts San Diego State on Tuesday.
Wyoming: At Air Force on Tuesday.
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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball