Wyoming Defeats New Mexico, 88-81
The Lobos fall in Arena Auditorium
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Wyoming diversifies its offensive sources
For much of the season, Wyoming has been a one man show starring Justin James, who leads the conference in scoring at 21.6 points per game.
And while James (28 points) led the Wyoming Cowboys (4-14 MW) on Saturday night in Arena Auditorium, he had a strong supporting cast in the win over the New Mexico Lobos (7-11 MW).
After getting out to a quick 5-0 lead behind Justin James, the Lobos found a go-to scorer of their own early in Carlton Bragg, who helped the Lobos to a 5-0 run of their own.
The first half was close throughout, with Wyoming taking a slim one point advantage into halftime, 42-41.
Coming out of the second half, the Lobos secured a brief lead, 43-42 lead, but Wyoming came back strong, taking the lead for good with 17:57 remaining in the second half.
The lead grew as high 77-65 with 3:24, but a 6-0 run by the Lobos kept the away team in striking distance.
But despite a number of turnovers forced by New Mexico in the closing minutes, they could never get closer than 6 largely due to missed layups, turnovers and a defensive clampdown by the Cowboys.
A.J Banks iced the game by making his last six free throws, preventing any chance of the Lobo’s spoiling the Cowboys’ senior night.
With the loss, New Mexico will be the seventh seed in next week’s Mountain West Tournament, while Wyoming was already locked into tenth prior to the contest.
The two teams will rematch in the first round of the tournament.