The Wyoming Cowboys hit 11 three pointers in the contest, but it wasn’t enough, as the Pokes (13-7, 3-4 MW) fell to New Mexico (12-8, 5-3 MW) 78-71 on Saturday evening in “The Pit” in Albuquerque, N.M. The 11 triples by UW was the most in a road game this season passing the prior high of nine at Montana during the non-conference portion of the schedule.
“Overall, on the road, in a hostile environment, we had some opportunities to win this game,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said. “We had some careless turnovers at certain times and allowed offense rebounds at the wrong time. I’m happy with our guys and it is part of the process as we work to get better.”
The Pokes were led by junior forward Hayden Dalton, as he recorded his seventh double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Sophomore guard Justin James added 14 points for UW. Junior Alexander Aka Gorski and Alan Herndon added double-figures with 12 from Aka Gorski and Herndon with 10. It marked the 11th time this season four or more players have scored in double-figures.
“I thought Hayden (Dalton) played well and I like what he brings to the table. His ability to crash the boards and make open shots are positives for our basketball team,” Edwards said.
The Lobos shot 45 percent (30-of-67) from the field with the Cowboys shooting 43 percent (26-of-61). UW shot 38 percent (11-of-29) from behind the arc and out rebounded the Lobos 39-38 in the contest. The Pokes committed 13 turnovers with the Lobos only recording seven on the night.
New Mexico’s Elijah brown poured in a game-high 33 points, as he recorded 25 shots on the night. He also added 10 rebounds. Tim Williams added 14 points and 11 rebounds.
“I thought we did a great job on Tim Williams and made him work for every point tonight,” Edwards said. “I thought Elijah Brown just made plays, made some shots and got to the free throw line.”
Aka Gorski hit a pair of threes and helped the Pokes build an early 8-4 lead. But a 10-0 run by the Lobos helped the New Mexico build a 14-8 lead on the Cowboys at the 13:51 mark of the opening half.
The Cowboys would cut the lead to as little as three points on numerous occasions until New Mexico built the lead back to seven points at 24-17 using a 5-0 run paced by a three-point play by Brown.
Junior guard Louis Adams helped the Pokes cut the deficit to two points with three points in the Pokes’ 6-0 run to make it a 25-23 game with 6:04 remaining in the opening half. The Pokes would cut the UNM lead to one point with a triple from Dalton with under two minutes remaining in the half.
Aka Gorski tied the game with a triple from the wing with 47 seconds remaining in the frame. It helped him reach double-figures for the sixth time in MW play this season. Both teams added a free throw to end the half tied at 38-38.
Herndon scored five-straight points for UW in the opening minutes of the second half to keep UW within striking distance of the Lobos, who opened the half shooting 50 percent to build 50-46 lead five minutes into the frame.
A triple from junior guard Jeremy Lieberman cut the lead to one point, but the Lobos built the lead to six points halfway through the half on a triple from Brown to make it 57-51.
The Pokes battled back and tied the contest at the 8:00 minute mark on a triple from Herndon. It was part of a Lobo scoreless streak that last nearly four minutes. The Lobos responded with an 11-2 run to make it a 70-61 game with a little over four minutes remaining in the contest.
The Lobos would not score another bucket after those points and added free throws to pick up the 78-71 win.
The Cowboys return to action on Wednesday hosting UNLV for a 7 p.m. start in the Arena-Auditorium.