Pokes Come Up Just Short Against Unbeaten New Mexico, 76-75
* University of Wyoming press release
LARAMIE -- The Wyoming Cowboys went down to the wire with No. 22 New Mexico falling in a contested battle to the final horn by a score of 76-75 on Saturday afternoon in the Arena-Auditorium in Laramie, Wyo.
The Pokes had four players in double-figures in the contest including a season-high from Ethan Anderson and a double-double from Hunter Maldonado.
“For us to be as short-handed as we were today showed what I thought coming into the season would be a strength for us that being our depth,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “I thought our guys really stepped up big off the bench. It’s unfortunate because we put ourselves in position to win the game. You normally don’t want to say it came down to the last play of the game, but in reality today it did. It was so unfortunate that those last two sequences went the way they did, but I think we can learn from this.
"If they’re (New Mexico) the 22nd-ranked team in the country -- and give them credit, they’re talented -- but we’re not too far off.”
Anderson poured in 17 points and added six rebounds and five assists in the contests. He was 7-of-10 from the field. Maldonado recorded his second double-double of the season and 14th of his career with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Jeremiah Oden added 13 points earning the start. He also added five rebounds. Max Agbonkpolo added 10 points of the bench for the Pokes. Noah Reynolds had eight points, but missed most of the game with an injury, as Wyoming was playing without Hunter Thompson.
The Pokes shot 49 percent from the field in the contest with the Lobos shooting 44 percent. Wyoming also shot 42 percent from the three-point line with the Lobos shooting 38 percent. Both teams grabbed 35 rebounds on the night. Wyoming scored 38 points in the paint with the Lobos scoring 30.
After Brendan Wenzel opened the scoring with a triple, the Pokes would go scoreless for two and half minutes until Reynolds made it a 5-3 game at the 17:11 mark of the first frame. The Pokes would then add baskets from Anderson and a and-one from Reynolds and a turnaround jumper from Reynolds for a 12-3 lead five minutes into the half.
Oden hit a three-pointer to push the lead to 10-points and Maldonado added a bucket for a 18-7 game with 13:13 left in the opening half of action. New Mexico used a 5-0 run to make it a 18-12 game with 11:31 remaining in the frame.
The Pokes went without a basket for five minutes until Anderson made it a 22-12 game at the 8:32 mark of the frame, but it was answered by a three from New Mexico seconds later along with a layup for a 22-17 contest. The Pokes went scoreless for three minutes with the Lobos making it a 24-20 game until a triple from Oden at the 5:12 mark of the frame.
Wyoming went scoreless for over three minutes with the Lobos making it a 28-27 contest, but Agbonkpolo hit a three-pointer for a 31-27 game with 1:21 left in the opening stanza. The Lobos took a lead at 32-31, but Anderson hit a layup at the end half for a 33-32 lead at the break.
The two teams traded threes in the early goings of the second half, but Jamal Mashburn Jr. hit a layup for a brief UNM lead and Maldonado added a three for a 39-37 lead for the Pokes three minutes into the half. Maldonado and Xavier DuSell gave Wyoming a 43-39 lead at the free throw line with 15:48 left in the game.
The Lobos hit four-straight baskets taking a 49-44 lead with 13:40 remaining in the contest holding the Pokes without a field goal for nearly four minutes until DuSell added a three at the 13:21 mark for a two-point game. Oden tied it the following trip down the floor.
New Mexico used the free throw line to take a 51-49 lead at the 12-minute mark of the half, but Agbonkpolo tied it at the line right after. Josiah Allick added back-to-back buckets for a 55-51 lead for the Lobos halfway through the half, but Anderson added a pair of baskets for a tie game.
The Lobos would build the lead to three-points on numerous occasions until Agbonkpolo added a triple for a 62-62 game with 7:39 left in the game. New Mexico build the lead to four-points at 66-62 at the 6:44 mark thanks to Jaelen House.
Maldonado would get to double-figures and tie the contest at 66-66 with 5:34 remaining, but House added a bucket right after to give the Lobos the lead back. Maldonado and Allick would battle for a tie game with under four minutes left.
Oden would give Wyoming a 72-70 lead with a reverse slam with 2:51 remaining, but the Lobos tied it on an and-one play with Maldonado falling out for a 72-72 game with 2:29 remaining.
Oden gave Wyoming a lead at 74-72 with a layup with 2:07 left in the game. House tied the game at the 1:20 mark at the free throw line.
Anderson gave Wyoming a one-point lead at 75-74 at the line with 56 seconds. DuSell would get a steal and be fouled but missed the free throw giving New Mexico the ball in the final 30 seconds and they would take the lead at the line with Mashburn. The Pokes had a chance late but would fall, 76-75.
The Lobos were led by Mashburn Jr. with 20 points. Allick added 15 points and 15 rebounds in the contest.
The Cowboys return to action next Saturday hosting San Diego State at 2 p.m. in a contest on CBS.
From Bison to Triceratops - All of Wyoming's Official Things
- From Bison to Triceratops - All of Wyoming's Official Things