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Cowboy Comeback Falls Short, Lobos Win 63-59

Kari Eakins, Townsquare Media

Hugh Greenwood hit an open 18-footer and a pair of free throws with 7.4 seconds left, and the 20th-ranked New Mexico Lobos escaped Laramie with a 63-59 win Wednesday night in Mountain West Conference action at the Arena-Auditorium. The Lobos shot 53.8 percent from the field in the second half and finished with four players in double figures.

New Mexico (18-3, 5-1) led 52-43 with 6:10 remaining, but the Cowboys put together a steady rally with clutch shots. A Riley Grabau 3-pointer with 23 seconds left tied it at 59.  Then Greenwood hit the go-ahead jumper. After a Wyoming timeout, an errant full-court pass intended for Larry Nance, Jr. from Leonard Washington went out of bounds without being touched. On the ensuing inbound play, Greenwood was fouled and then hit the icing free throws without time running off the clock.

Wyoming coach Larry Shyatt shared the thought process, down two, with seven seconds left was, “Let’s give Riley a double and look for him first. If there’s any question that Riley can’t get the ball at half court off the double screen, we practice that pass. Let’s get it to Larry, and we got two guys sprinting down the sidelines. The pass went errant. I knew Larry could out-jump their interior player, but we just didn’t connect on that.”

The Cowboys (15-5, 2-5) overcame a 12-0 first half surge by the Lobos with hot shooting from beyond the arc. Wyoming was 7-of-10 from 3-point range, and that included a Grabau fall-away heave at the halftime buzzer for a 28-27 lead. The Pokes made their move with leading scorer Leonard Washington on the bench with two fouls and no points.

Shyatt said, “I thought our guys gave themselves a heck of a chance to win the game. We did not, and unfortunately they do keep score. So, there are no such things as moral victories, way to go’s.”

Gilmore led the Pokes with 15 points, all made on 3-pointers. Washington and Grabau had 11 points each with Washington also grabbing 6 boards. Nance put up 9 points and grabbed 8 rebounds. The Cowboys shot 40.8 percent (20-49) from the field and a blistering 54.5 percent (12-22) from beyond the arc while making 70 percent (7-10) of their free throws.

New Mexico dominated the paint, outscoring UW 28-12 in the lane and grabbing 35 rebounds to Wyoming’s 23. The Lobos were led by Cameron Bairstow with 17 points. Greenwood scored 13 and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Kendall Williams and Alex Kirk added 12 and 10 points, respectively. They went 25-52 (48.1%) on field goals, were just 2-10 (20%) from deep and finished 11-14 (78.6%) at the foul line.

Wyoming will wrap up the first half of Mountain West play on Saturday when they take on Colorado State in Ft. Collins. The game will tip at 5 p.m. with coverage starting on Y95 Country at 4:30 p.m.

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