WYOMING BASKETBALL: Cowboys Fall in Final Seconds to No. 22 New Mexico

A back-and-forth game ends in another heartbreaking loss for Wyoming, 76-75

Max Agbonkpolo appeared in the game against New Mexico, playing 16 minutes, his first meaningful action in a month. Agbonkpolo scored 10 points but missed a late 3-point shot which would have won the game. (Courtesy photo from the University of Wyoming Athletics)

By Kaycee Clark-Mellott

Special to the Wyoming Truth

LARAMIE, Wyo.—When the No. 22 New Mexico Lobos (13-0) came to town, not many had hope that the Wyoming Cowboys would stand a chance against the unbeaten squad. The Cowboys entered the game on a three-game losing streak, including dropping their conference opener against Fresno State on Wednesday. The 5-8 Cowboys hoped to right their wrongs back home for the first time in three weeks.

The game began with Wyoming missing one of its big men, Hunter Thompson, who is out due to an illness. Still, the Pokes came out on a 12-3 run against the Lobos. While the lead would shrink, Wyoming remained in control until 15 seconds left in the half. 

Dec 31, 2022; Laramie, WY, USA; Wyoming Cowboys guard Ethan Anderson (20) against the New Mexico Lobos at Arena-Auditorium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-UW Media-Athletics

But after playing just eight minutes, leading Cowboy scorer Noah Reynolds took an elbow to the back of the head and was immediately escorted to the locker room. Wyoming quickly reclaimed the lead, with Ethan Anderson going coast to coast for a layup at the buzzer that gave the Cowboys  a surprising 33-32 lead at halftime.

Wyoming’s scoring in the first half was distributed amongst seven players. Reynolds led the team with eight points; Hunter Maldonado scored four points and seven rebounds.

The Lobos’ KJ Jenkins scored 11 points and Jamal Mashburn Jr. scored nine.

Coming out of the half, Wyoming and New Mexico battled back and forth, with the largest lead being only five by the Lobos.  

Maldonado eventually fouled out along with the Lobos’ Jaelen House. 

The game came down to the final seconds, and with 18 seconds left, Wyoming’s Xavier DuSell was called for a foul with his hands raised up in the air. New Mexico took the lead on free throws, 76-75. Wyoming moved the ball upcourt, but Max Agbonkpolo missed a 3-point shot.

Brendan Wenzel grabbed the rebound and tried to put the ball back up, but he was knocked to the ground.  Much to the dismay of the Cowboys’ fans, no foul was called.  

New Mexico then missed two free throws; it came down to a Wyoming half-court heave which would be too strong. Wyoming ultimately fell 76-75.

Wyoming’s Anderson scored 17 points with six rebounds. Maldonado dropped a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Oden and Agbonkpolo each scored in double digits, with 13 and 10, respectively.

The Pokes shot 13-20 from the free throw line, which could have been the difference in the game.

Wyoming dropped to 5-9 and 0-2 in the Mountain West Conference, while New Mexico remains undefeated at 14-0.

Next games up

The Cowboys will host their next conference game on Jan. 7 against San Diego State (11-3; 2-0) at 2 p.m. MST. The game will be broadcast on CBS and the Cowboy Sports Network.

Spread the love

Related Post