Wyoming 63, Butler 61
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) _ Butler’s rags-to-riches season ended Friday night as Reginald Slater’s 27 points led Wyoming to a 63-61 victory over the Bulldogs in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.
Slater hit key free throws with 62 seconds left and again with 22 seconds to go to hold off Butler, which had gone from 6-22 last year to 18-10 heading into the game with Wyoming.
The win was Wyoming’s 20th in 31 games, and sent the Cowboys into a second- round game Monday at Colorado.
The 6-foot-7 Slater went to the foul line with Wyoming leading 59-57 with 1:02 to play when Brett Etherington collected his third foul of the game, and the forward hit both shots.
Butler pulled within 61-59 when Etherington went over Slater for a baseline jumper with 24 seconds left. But the Bulldogs’ J.P. Brens fouled Slater two seconds later to send the forward back to the line, where his shots put Wyoming ahead 63-59.
The Bulldogs almost pulled out the win, as John Karaffa’s jumper pulled them within two with 14 seconds left and a Wyoming turnover gave the ball back to Butler with eight seconds to play.
But after guard Tim Bowen got the ball on the inbounds play, his pass to Darin Archbold went out of bounds, and Wyoming then ran out the clock.
Archbold’s 16 points led Butler.