“The Pit” the pits for Cowboy basketball Tuesday night

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University of Wyoming photo

February 16, 2022 — The 22nd-ranked Cowboys saw their six-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday evening, falling 75-66 at New Mexico inside the Pit. The loss dropped the Pokes into a first-place tie with Boise State at 10-2 in the Mountain West. Wyoming is now 21-4 on the season. For New Mexico, it was their third straight win, upping their Mountain West record to 3-8 in conference and 11-14 for the year.

“Give New Mexico credit, and they made some tough shots,” UW head coach Jeff Linder said. “It was a make or miss game, and we had a lot of looks, and it didn’t go in. We have been making those winning plays late, but tonight we didn’t. It is disappointing, and we can’t let this affect us.”

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Wyoming was led by Graham Ike’s 26 points, 24 of those in the second half of the contest. Jeremiah Oden added 14 points for the Pokes and was 5-of-5 from the field. The Pokes’ second-leading scorer Hunter Maldonado was only 8 points, 11 below his season average.

New Mexico led 33-30 at the first-half break. Ike would help the Pokes build the lead to seven points in the opening minutes of the second half thanks to a pair of made shot and-one plays. But the Pokes would record four turnovers in just over two minutes allowing the Lobos to make it a three-point game at 41-38 with 14 minutes remaining.

The Lobos Jamal Mashburn Jr. tied the game with a layup at the 11:29 mark. Mashburn would then give the Lobos the lead with a pair of free throws seconds later. Maldonado added a bucket and later a free throw to push the Pokes back into the lead at 46-45 halfway through the second half. It would turn out to be Wyoming’s last lead of the game.

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New Mexico enjoyed a six-point lead, 55-49, with 6:44 to play. Ike made two free throws to cut the Lobo lead o 55-51 with 6:29 to play. That is as close as the Cowboys would come to regaining the lead until Oden scored on a layup to bring Wyoming within three points, 66-63, with 1:48 to go.

A Jay Allen-Tovar three-point shot gave New Mexico a 71-65 lead with 43-seconds left on the clock to seal the win.

The Cowboys return to action on Saturday, hosting Air Force in the Arena-Auditorium for a 2 p.m. start.