It was a closer game than the first meeting, but the Laramie Plainsmen lost at home to Riverton, 71-62, Saturday as part of the Taco John’s Invitational.

Riverton (11-0) used a strong third quarter and remained perfect on the season. They out-scored the Plainsmen 17-8 in the frame. The Wolverines held off any LHS challenge in the fourth.

Laramie (3-6) trailed by 10 after the first quarter, but rallied behind Nate Burman and Frank Crum. They exchanged the lead four times in the second quarter, but Riverton still led 34-33 at half. Burman and Crum combined for 20 of Laramie’s 23 points in the quarter.

Head coach Travis Brown felt it was a better effort this time around.

“Got a gritty bunch of kids who want it. I think you’re seeing their willingness to work hard throughout the week, and it’s starting to pay off.”

The Wolverines won the previous meeting in Riverton on Dec. 8, 66-40.

Riverton shot 46 percent from the field. The Wolverines were led by Easton Paxton’s 32 points. They also went 21-of-31 at the foul line.

The Plainsmen were led by Crum’s 23 points and Burman’s 22 points. Laramie shot 45 percent from the floor and lost despite out-rebounding Riverton, 43-23. They attempted 20 less free throws.

Brown said of the two leading scorers, “Definitely those two stepped up; kept us in it; and when you’ve got those two better players, that’s what they should do.”

The final non-conference weekend features the Plainsmen hosting Rock Springs and Green River next Friday and Saturday in Laramie.