(UW Athletics release)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Wyoming Cowboys fell to New Mexico 83-53 inside “The Pit” on Saturday afternoon in a contest that saw the up-tempo Lobos score 29 points on fast breaks. Wyoming falls to 4-14 overall and 0-5 in league play with the Lobos moving to 9-9 overall and 3-3 in the MW.
“We are trying to teach these guys how to comeback by getting back-to-back stops and executing on offense,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said. “We got hit in the mouth and dealing with the youngness we could sustain staying the course. They got the best of us tonight.”
The Pokes were led by senior guard Justin James, as he added 12 points for his 79th game in double-figures in his career. James tied Leon Clark for eighth in career field goals with 581. He left the contest late in the second half with an injury. He added five rebounds and finished three assists.
Junior A.J. Banks added 10 for his first double-digit scoring contest since scoring 18 at UTEP. Freshman Brandon Porter and added seven points on the night playing 22 minutes.
“I’m growing as a coach and we are growing as a team and right now we have to get better,” Edwards said. “We need everyone from the staff and players to get better and grow. This is a tough place to play and this was a stepping stone tonight.”
The Pokes finished the night shooting 35 from the field and 27 from behind the arc. The Lobos shot 48 percent from the field going 28-of-58. The Lobos owned a 43-26 advantage on the glass. Wyoming did score 17 points off of the Lobos 19 turnovers.
The Lobos raced out to an 8-2 lead on the Pokes in the opening minutes, as the MW leader in triples Anthony Mathis fueled the run. New Mexico would increase its lead to as much as 10 points at 14-4, but the Pokes would cut it to seven with buckets from Brandon Porter and Young.
New Mexico would make it a double-digit contest once again hallway through the half for a 24-13 advantage. The Lobos were shooting 57 percent from the field to that point. But Porter added a triple seconds later for a 24-16 game with the Pokes opening 3-of-6 from behind the arc to that point.
The Lobos would go on a 14-point surge until Justin James halted it with a fast break slam for a 38-18 contest with five minutes left in the half. But turnovers and fast break points hurt the Pokes with the Lobos scoring a combined 23 points in those categories to take a 42-25 halftime lead.
Banks scored five points early in the second half to lead the Pokes, New Mexico continued the hot shooting to build the lead back to 20 points at 52-34 with 15:41 left in the game.
Wyoming would hit 4-of-5 shots with baskets from four different players to make it a 62-44 contest with just under 10 minutes remaining. Three of those came from freshman in redshirt Hunter Thompson (three pointer) and Taylor and Porter.
The Cowboys offense would go cold after the brief run going scoreless for just over four minutes with the Lobos building a 24 point advantage at 68-44 with nearly five minutes remaining. The Lobos maintained the pressure with freshman walk-on Haize Fornstrom adding a three-pointer, but the Lobos took the 83-53 victory.
The Lobos were led in scoring by Carlton Bragg with 16 points. He was 7-of-9 from the field and grabbed five rebounds. All five starters were in double figures with Keith McGee adding 14 points off the bench.
The Cowboys return to action on Wednesday hosting the San Jose State Spartans in the Arena-Auditorium for a 7 p.m. start.