(UW media release)
LARAMIE, Wyo. – The Cowboys ran into hot shooting on Tuesday evening falling to New Mexico, 119-114 in the Arena-Auditorium. The Lobos shot 62 percent from the field with the Cowboys shooting a season-high 58 percent in the highest scoring affair in the Arena-Auditorium’s 36-year history. Wyoming falls to 17-11 overall and 8-7 with the Lobos moving to 14-14 overall and 9-6 in the league.
“I thought we had our good moments in the game, cutting it to two points at halftime,” Edwards said. “I thought we came out in the second half and let them jump on us from the standpoint of us committing mistakes and turnovers that led to their offensive plays. When we settled in on the defensive end of the floor, I thought we were okay, but we didn’t take care of the basketball.”
The Pokes were led by senior guard Louis Adams, who notched a career-high 31 points going 11-of-15 from the field and 6-of-11 at the free throw line. Senior forward Hayden Dalton added 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting, while junior guard Justin James added 23 points on 6-of-12 shooting and netted 10 points at the charity stripe. It marked the first time since Feb. 16, 2002 that three different Cowboys scored 20 or more points.
The teams combined for 38 turnovers and scored a combined 56 points off those miscues. Wyoming forced 20 turnovers and scored 30 points, which is the second most in a game this season. The Pokes also shot a season-high 56 percent from behind the arc going 13-of-23.
“You have to adjust and go play a game of basketball. Al (Herndon) woke up this morning not feeling well,” Edwards said. “He tried to give it a go, but he wasn’t the same Al. In a sense, you want to say next guy up, but Al is a big part of what we do, especially on the defensive end of the floor with his basketball IQ and his ability to protect the rim.”
The Lobos hit their first three shots of the ball game to race out to a 7-2 advantage ninety seconds into the contest. The Pokes recorded four turnovers in their first five possessions down the floor. After the Lobos extended the lead to 11-2, a 6-0 run lead by four-straight points from sophomore forward Moemeka made it an 11-8 contest with 14:59 left in the half.
The Lobos would take a seven point lead at 20-13 with 12:19 left in the frame. Back-to-back dunks from Adams and senior forward Alan Herndon made it a 20-17 game a minute later. But the lead was pushed back to seven points at 26-19 thanks to back-to-back threes from Troy Simons halfway through the half.
Another run by New Mexico this time of 6-0 helped the Lobos build a 34-23 lead with under seven left in the half. The Lobos attacked the rim with three-straight baskets in the paint. The Pokes hit three-straight triples with one from Dalton, Adams and Aka Gorski to make it a 38-36 game in favor of UNM with just over five minutes left in the half.
Dalton added a pair of free throws to tie the game and then hit a corner three as part of an 18-4 Cowboy run for a 41-38 Wyoming lead with 4:19 left in the frantic first half. The two teams would exchange the lead for almost three minutes until technical free throws helped New Mexico build a 55-52 with under 40 seconds left in the half. An Aka Gorski free throw made it a 55-53 game into the break, as New Mexico shot 59 percent from the field and the Pokes shot 57 percent in the first half.
James opened the second half with five-straight points to give UW a 58-55 lead. But New Mexico responded with a 12-0 run to make it a 67-58 game in just over 90 seconds. The Pokes would later use a 6-0 run to make it a 68-65 contest with 15 minutes left. Adams added a three pointer and James added and and-one layup during the surge.
New Mexico built their lead to seven points on an and-one play from Joe Furstinger with 12:32 left in the half. The Pokes would cut the deficit down to three points, but three-straight field goals on three-straight trips gave UNM a 10-point lead at 88-78 with 8:12 left.
Wyoming made it interesting late going 8-for-8 from the field to close the game, but the Lobos connected on free throws to take the game, 119-114.
The Lobos were led by senior guard Sam Logwood and junior guard Troy Simons, each with 24 points off the bench. The pair combined for 19-of-23 shooting. Freshman guard Makuach Maluach netted 20 points, 12 coming at the free throw line.
The Pokes return to action on Saturday, on the road at Fresno State. The game will air on ESPNU, and is set to tip off at 8 p.m. MT.