Straight Leads Wyoming Past New Mexico

Feb. 7, 2005

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LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) - Jay Straight scored 24 points and 12 assists to guideWyoming to an 81-71 win over New Mexico on Monday.

The second half was especially hard-fought, with six lead changes.

But the Cowboys (13-8, 5-3 Mountain West Conference) won on a 13-0 run overthe last two-and-a-half minutes of the game.

Though the Lobos (17-6, 4-4) gave up four of those final points on freethrows, the others included a basket and 3-pointer from Straight, who ended thenight 4 of 8 from that range, and a basket by Justin Williams.

After Straight, Dion Sherrell scored 22 and Williams 12.

For New Mexico, Danny Granger led with 19. Alfred Neale had 14, Troy DeVrieshad 13 and David Chiotti 11.

The Cowboys entered the second half ahead 39-32, which faded into a 46-44Lobos lead over the next several minutes on a basket by Neale, two free throwsby Chiotti and a 3-pointer by Granger.

It was a hardscrabble ball game from there: Neither team got more than 3points ahead over the next 11{ minutes and the game was tied at 49, 61, 66 and68.

Senior Dion Sherrell tied a career high with 22 points Monday night. (Matt Young photo)

In the first half, New Mexico took a 25-24 lead on a pair of baskets byGranger. Wyoming responded with an 11-0 run and a 35-25 lead, an advantage itheld on to until halftime.

The Lobos shot 47 percent from the field; Wyoming 52 percent.

Postgame Notes

•Wyoming took over sole possession of third place in the Mountain West Conference race with its win over New Mexico. Depending on the outcome of the Air Force at Colorado State game later tonight, Wyoming could be in a tie for second place. Wyoming is now 13-8, 5-3 in Mountain West Conference play. (Air Force enters tonight's game at CSU, 14-8, 5-2 in the MWC.)

•Wyoming has won five of its last six games.

•The Cowboys are now 9-3 against New Mexico in MWC play.

•UW has defeated New Mexico eight consecutive times in the Arena-Auditorium. The last time New Mexico won in Laramie was Feb. 18, 1995.

•Steve McClain is 9-3 against New Mexico.

•Wyoming has shot 50 percent or better from the field in six of its last seven wins. UW shot 51.7 percent vs. New Mexico.

•Jay Straight's 24 points marked his seventh 20-point game of the season and 19th of his career.

•Dion Sherrell's 22 points tied his career high. He also scored 22 at UNLV a year ago (Feb. 23, 2004).

•Justin Williams 11 rebounds tied a career high. He has now had 11 rebounds on four different occasions.

•Jay Straight tied a career high with four steals. That is the fourth time in his career he has had four steals in a game.

•Straight's 12 assists marked the fourth double-figure assist game of his career and second of the season. It was the second highest single-game assist total of his career. His career high is 15, which is a school record that he handed out vs. Winthrop on Dec. 20, 2003.

•Straight moved ahead of Fennis Dembo on the Wyoming career assist list tonight. With his 12 assists vs. New Mexico, he improved his career total to 420. Dembo had 410 during his career from 1985-88.

•Straight is second on the MWC career asssist list with 420. He is chasing the MWC record of 439 set by Matt Montague of BYU from 1999-2002.

•Straight also moved into sole possession pf fifth place on the MWC career steal list. He now has 118 career steals to move ahead of Deandre Moore, who had 114 steals at San Diego State from 2000-03.

•Jay Straight's double-double of 24 points and 12 assists marked the fourth double-double of his career and second of the season.

Postgame Quotes From Wyoming Head Coach Steve McClain

"Our kids came out and played hard tonight. You always wonder when you come off a big win, like we had against Air Force, how your kids will react. We reacted well, we came out focused and with a lot of energy.

"I think this team has started to believe in itself. We made big plays down the stretch and really locked up defensively.

"Jay (Straight) and Dion (Sherrell) both made some big shots. We felt like our guards could penetrate and get some mid-range jumpers, and that was a big part of how we made that run in the last few minutes.

"Danny Granger is a warrior. I think we did about as good as we could against him. Justin (Williams) played a great game to get a double-double against their big guys.

"We forced 13 turnovers, and only committed 11 ourselves.

"Jay only had two turnovers in 40 minutes, handed out 12 assists and scored 24 -- that is what a senior leader should do."