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Wyoming Cowboys, New Mexico battling for MWC Tourney bye

Posted at 4:40 PM, Feb 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 16:47:13-04

(UW Athletics release)

LARAMIE, Wyo.The Wyoming Cowboys host New Mexico on Tuesday at 7 p.m. MT in a key Mountain West contest with both teams battling for a bye in the upcoming MW Tournament. Both teams sport an 8-6 record in conference play with four games remaining and are tied for fourth place in the league with UNLV.

The Cowboys are 17-10 overall after downing San Jose State 89-75 in Laramie on Saturday. The Pokes hit a season-high 16 three pointers in the game with 11 coming in the first half. The Cowboys have hit 239 triples this season, which ranks third in single season school history.

Wyoming hit 13-of-15 free throws against San José State and are shooting 75 percent from the line for third in the MW and No. 54 in the nation. Wyoming has gone 500-of-665 from the free throw line for seventh in the nation in made free throws. Wyoming is scoring 17.7 points off turnovers in the last seven games.

The Lobos head to Laramie with a 13-14 overall record and an 8-6 mark in the conference. New Mexico is a talented three point shooting team with 301 triples this season to rank first in the MW and ninth in the nation. New Mexico is shooting 37 percent from behind the arc this season.

New Mexico is allowing opponents to shooting 48 percent from the field for No. 11 in the MW. UNM shoots 44 percent from the field and leads the conference in free throw percentage at 76 percent. That number also ranks No. 29 in the nation.

The Pokes are led in scoring by junior guard Justin James at 18.5 points per game. That number ranks third in the MW and No. 86 in the nation. James also adds a team-best 3.1 assists per game including 4.7 per game in his last four contests. Senior forward Hayden Dalton adds 18.1 points per game and has scored 20 or more points in eight of his last nine games and in the last six games. He also leads the Pokes in rebounding at 8.1 per game for fifth in the MW.

Senior forward Alan Herndon adds 12.0 points per game and leads the MW in blocks this season with 61, which ranks No. 27 in the nation. His 2.2 blocks per game also leads the league and ranks No. 27 in the nation. Senior guard Louis Adams averages 9.1 points per game off the bench and should be available for the Pokes on Tuesday.

New Mexico is one of the most balanced teams in the Mountain West. The Lobos feature seven players that average eight or more points per game. Anthony Mathis leads the team in scoring at 12.9 per game. He has connected on 83 triples this season ranking second in the MW. Antino Jackson adds 10.4 points per game and leads the team with 114 assists. He ranks second in the league in assists at 4.4 per game. Joe Furstinger leads the team grabbing seven rebounds per game.

The Lobos lead the all-time series against the Pokes 69-67 in a series that dates back to 1950. Wyoming is 40-24 all-time against the Lobos in Laramie. UNM took the first meeting on Jan. 10 at home 75-66.

The game will be televised on AT&T SportsNet with Drew Goodman on Play-by-Play and Sed Bonner on Color. Fans can listen and follow live stats on The game will be broadcast live on radio over the 25 affiliate stations of the Cowboy Sports Network. Dave Walsh will have the play-by-play alongside Kevin McKinney on the color.

Wyoming hits the road heading to Fresno State for another key MW matchup on Saturday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU.