For a fourth-straight game, the University of Wyoming men's basketball team and New Mexico went to overtime, but it was the Lobos who ended up with a hard-fought 52-49 win in The Pit on Saturday night. The Cowboys (22-9, 11-7 MW) lost to the Lobos (15-15, 7-11 MW) in the building for a 12th-straight time.
As has been the case in their previous three meetings, it took an extra period to decide a winner between Wyoming and New Mexico. The two squads went to overtime tied at 44-44, but the Lobos reeled off a 6-0 run to go up 50-44 with 38 seconds left. The Cowboys made a late charge to cut the lead to one with 15 seconds remaining, but senior forward Larry Nance Jr.'s jumper with two seconds left was short. That was after senior guard Riley Grabau had a three at regulation's buzzer that was short as well.
Nance finished with 21 points for his second-straight 20-point game and added eight rebounds and two blocks, while Grabau had 15 points, including three triples. They were the only Pokes with more than five points, though. Senior guard Jack Bentz contributed a team-high four assists and now has 10 in the last two games, after entering the last contest with 13 on the season. Nance played in his 119th game in a Wyoming uniform, which ties him for 10th in Cowboy history with Josh Davis.
The Pokes shot a season-low 32 percent (15-of-47) from the field and 31 percent (5-of-16) beyond the arc compared to 36 percent (20-of-55) and 13 percent (2-of-15) from deep for the Lobos. UNM earned a 38-32 advantage on the boards and 13-10 in assists, as both squads committed 11 turnovers and 18 fouls.
It was not a pretty first half from either program, as the Lobos led 17-14 at halftime. Nance scored UW's first six points and redshirt sophomore guard Jason McManamen added a three to give the Cowboys a 9-2 lead seven minutes in, but UNM responded with a 10-2 run to go in front 12-11. The squads exchanged buckets over the next several minutes, before the Lobos closed the half with a 5-0 spurt.
Wyoming shot just 25 percent (6-of-24) from the field in the first half and made one of its seven three-point attempts. New Mexico made 31 percent (8-of-26), but none of its six threes went in. The Lobos outrebounded the Cowboys 21-15, but had two more turnovers.
The Cowboys open the 2015 Mountain West Championships on Thursday.