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Wyoming throws away chance to beat No. 20 Lobos

Wyoming throws away chance to beat No. 20 Lobos

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) Wyoming saw its chance to beat another top-25 team sail away on an errant full-court inbounds pass with 8 seconds left.

Trailing 61-59, Wyoming forward Leonard Washington launched the pass over everyone and out of bounds on the other side of the court. Hugh Greenwood, who had just put the Lobos ahead with a jumper, was fouled on their ensuing possession and sank two free throws, giving New Mexico a 63-59 win over the Cowboys.

``We just didn't connect on that,'' Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt said of the turnover at the end.

Shyatt said the inbounds play was designed to get the ball first to guard Riley Grabau and the full-court pass was a second option.

Grabau said he was at fault for the play by not getting open.

``I didn't go to the ball for him (Washington), and he had to throw a deep pass,'' he said. ``That should have been my turnover.''

It was the third straight loss for the Cowboys (15-5, 2-5 Mountain West), who had defeated two top-25 teams at home this season.

Cameron Bairstow led New Mexico with 17 points. Greenwood had 13 points, Kendall Williams 12 and Alex Kirk 10 for the Lobos (18-3, 5-1).

New Mexico has won 10 of its last 12 games against Wyoming and five of the last six in Laramie.

Wyoming was led by Derrious Gilmore's 15 points, all on 3-pointers. Riley Grabau and Leonard Washington had 11 points apiece. Wyoming shot 12 for 22 on 3s, but New Mexico dominated play in the paint - outscoring the Cowboys 28-12 inside and outrebounding them 35-23.

Wyoming's two inside threats - Washington and Larry Nance Jr. - were a combined 7 for 21 from the field.

``They wall up really well with their hands up and we just didn't finish inside,'' Shyatt said.

Wyoming led 28-27 at the half thanks primarily to its 7-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. Gilmore hit three 3s, and Grabau two.

The Cowboys started the second half with two free throws by Nance for a 30-27 lead, but the Lobos went on an 8-0 run for a five-point advantage.

New Mexico went up by nine points in the second half before Wyoming tied the score at 59-all on Grabau's 3-pointer with 23 seconds left.

But Wyoming wouldn't get another point as Greenwood finished the game's scoring with his four points.

``Hugh Greenwood has made big shot after big shot,'' New Mexico coach Steve Alford said. ``Hugh's had games where he's not made anything and yet in the last 5 minutes he'll come up with the big shot or the big free throw and today I thought he was really good throughout.''

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Capitals vs. Pengiuns Preview: Three keys to how this year could be different for the Caps

Capitals vs. Pengiuns Preview: Three keys to how this year could be different for the Caps

The Washington Capitals enter the 2018 NHL Playoffs Eastern Conference Second Round in a similar position. A Metro division championship in hand and a seven-game series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. But while this year appears the same, the Caps are hoping for a different outcome. Will they finally be able to beat their arch rival and reach the conference final?

Here are three keys that will determine if this year will be different for the Caps.

Capitals vs. Penguins Preview:

Key to Victory No. 1: Discipline:

In the Capitals' two victories over the Penguins this season, Washington did not give up a power play goal. No team had a better power play unit during the regular season than the Penguins and we already saw how much foolish penalties hurt the Caps in the first round. Washington took 24 penalties in six games against the Blue Jackets and that is far too many.

They cannot win that way against the Penguins.

The problem is that in the second round with a heated rival, tempers can flare a bit. Just look at the last time these two teams played when Malkin was shooting Oshie's stick off the ice and tried to fight Kuznetsov for speaking Russian to him. Still, the Caps are going to have to keep their emotions in check.

Key to Victory No. 2:  Getting the goaltending advantage: 

The scoring depth of Pittsburgh is unmatched. The fact that a team can have Crosby, Malkin and Kessel all on the same team in the salary cap era is mind-boggling. Oh, and by the way, Jake Guentzel scores every time he touches the puck in the playoffs. Washington cannot win this series if they do not get better goaltending than Pittsburgh.

The good news is that Murray was not lights out in the first round. Yes, he had two shutouts, but there were also three games in which he let in at least four goals. A .911 save percentage is not where the Penguins really need him to be. The bad news is that while Holtby is statistically one of the best playoff netminders in NHL history, he struggles against Pittsburgh. In last year's series, Holtby managed only a .887 save percentage and 2.57 GAA.

One thing to keep in mind, on April 1 Grubauer started a critical game in Pittsburgh and was phenomenal. Could Trotz possibly think of going back to Grubauer if Holtby struggles against the Penguins?

Keys to Victory No. 3: The Mind Games

 Let's face it, there is a mental aspect to the Capitals' postseason struggles. When it comes to beating Pittsburgh or getting past the second round, this has become a mental hurdle. They have to come into this series with confidence they can win and maintain that confidence throughout, regardless of whether they get down in a game or in the series, regardless of whether there is a bad penalty call, regardless of whether Murray stands on his head again, regardless of any of the struggles they may face, they have to stay mentally confident.

When the Caps went down 0-2 against Columbus, Ovechkin said that the series would return to Washington tied at 2. The way he said it, it wasn't a guarantee or some massive proclamation, it was a statement of fact. Both he and the rest of the team believed they were going to come back and win the series. They need that level of confidence against Pittsburgh as well.

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Dez Bryant turned down multi-year deal from Ravens, is banking on himself in 2018

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Dez Bryant turned down multi-year deal from Ravens, is banking on himself in 2018

If you want to sign Dez Bryant in 2018, it will have to be on a one-year deal.

The 29 year-old wide receiver turned down a multi-year offer from the Baltimore Ravens in hopes of finding a one-year deal that enables him to test the open market again in 2019, Ed Werder of The Doomsday Podcast first reported.

Bryant - who finished 2017 with 69 receptions, 838 yards and six touchdowns -  is predicating a bounce back season in 2018 with hopes of a big money, long-term contract in 2019.

The offer was similar to that of Michael Crabtree's three-year, $21 million deal, according to NFL Insider Ian Rapoport. The Ravens had to offer Bryant a multi-year deal in order to fit his number under the salary cap.

Since turning down their offer, the Ravens signed former Saints WR Willie Snead to a two-year, $10.4 million contract. 

Bryant will now have to wait until after the 2018 NFL Draft to work out a deal with an organization, if one is still searching for a wide receiver going in to the tail end of his career. 

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