For the third time this season the Wyoming Cowboys played tough against regular season champ New Mexico, but for the third time this season the Pokes ran out of steam down the stretch, as they were eliminated from the Mountain West tournament tonight by the Lobos, 59-46. Despite only making one more field goal than the Cowboys, New Mexico outscored the Pokes 21-8 from the free throw line. Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt would not comment on one aspect of the game, but said, “You get three guys with four (fouls) and a couple foul out…kudos to New Mexico, I thought there staff did a great job fouling us out.”
Wyoming trailed the Lobos by ten at the half, as the Pokes were saddled with that foul trouble. But the Cowboys would rally in the second half to cut the New Mexico lead down to three at one point. “With about 12 and change to play, I felt pretty good, not only about the tempo…I felt like the heart of our team was really in pace with the game,” said Shyatt.
That’s when New Mexico regained control of the game and pulled away for the win. Wyoming was 16-50 from the field for the game, including 6-23 from three-point range. Senior guard Derrious Gilmore, who was 4-17 from the field said, “We got good looks at the rim. Some shots we had to force up, but besides that, I thought we executed as well as we possibly could.”
Gilmore finished with 14 points, while sophomore forward Larry Nance Junior also had 14 points with six boards, and freshman Josh Adams added 12. Now Wyoming awaits their postseason fate, as one would assume a berth in one of the postseason tournaments awaits the Cowboys. Wyoming is 19-13 on the year. New Mexico moves on to the semi-finals