For the second straight game, the Wyoming Cowboys found themselves in a tight battle at the end, and for the second straight game, the Pokes couldn’t get the job done, falling to New Mexico at home Wednesday night, 72-69 in overtime. The loss spoiled a career night from junior guard Riley Grabau, who finished with a career high 24 points. Grabau hit a pair of free throws with 7.6 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 64. New Mexico still had a chance to win, but reigning Mountain West player of the year Kendall Williams came up short with his attempt at the game-winner.
In overtime, neither team shot well, as the Cowboys and Lobos each hit just one shot. The difference in the OT session was at the free throw line, where New Mexico hit five of eight, while Wyoming just two of six. Still the Cowboys had a chance to win the game, down just one point, 70-69, Grabau’s lay up was blocked by Alex Kirk. New Mexico’s Cleveland Thomas hit a pair of free throw’s and the Lobos escaped Laramie with the win.
Once again, Wyoming shot well from the field, 49 percent. But once again, they took just 49 shots, which was 13 less than the Lobos. That was in part due to the big advantage New Mexico had on the offensive glass. The Lobos pulled down 14 offensive boards, to Wyoming’s nine. That was because New Mexico’s big men, Cameron Bairstow and Alex Kirk were dominant inside, and Larry Nance, Jr. says the game plan was to push those two away away from the basket.
But Wyoming did a good job of helping on defense, especially on the back side, as Nance finished the game with six blocks. He says they knew they couldn’t go man on man with the Lobos’ bigs.
Wyoming head coach Larry Shyatt thought it was a terrific game, and compared the overtime session to a heavyweight fight. He feels like this team is really close to breaking out, and they did things in the game to beat the Lobos, with the exception of making a couple shots.
Senior guard Nathan Sobey chipped in with 16 points, while sophomore Josh Adams added 12. The Lobos did a good job on Nance, as the Cowboy’s leading scorer was held to just nine points and seven rebounds.
Wyoming falls to 9-6 on the season and 0-2 in the Mountain West. The Pokes are at Boise State Saturday night.