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Cowboys can't hold on in overtime loss to Lobos

Jan 9, 2014 - From staff reports

Larry Shyatt compared overtime to a heavyweight boxing match.

Both teams were tired and found the going tough.

But in the end, Shyatt's University of Wyoming men's basketball team didn't do enough to come away with the victory. The story was reported by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

The Cowboys were outscored 8-5 in overtime and missed four free throws in a 72-69 loss to New Mexico in front of 4,711 fans at the Arena-Auditorium on Wednesday night.

UW (9-6 overall, 0-2 Mountain West) lost for just the second time this season at home, and for the seventh straight time to New Mexico (11-3, 2-0).

The Cowboys have lost their first two MW games by three points each.

And when they look back at this one, the missed free throws in overtime will hurt -- two by senior guard Nathan Sobey and two by junior guard Josh Adams.

"I think if we would have knocked in a couple of those fouls shots in overtime, I think I would start this same way in saying it was a heck of a ball game," said Shyatt to the media after the game.

"We missed some big free throws, but I don't know if a guy can be prouder of his team. I am disappointed and frustrated they haven't had more to show for it."

Same for rebounding. UW was not only outrebounded 37-31, but more importantly, 14-5 on the offensive glass and outscored 12-4 on second-chance points.

Both teams made only one basket in overtime, both being 3-pointers. New Mexico's was by sophomore guard Cleveland Thomas, UW's by junior guard Riley Grabau, who finished with career-highs of 24 points and six rebounds.

Thomas and junior guard Deshawn Delaney did not enter the game as good 3-point shooters, but they both were 2 of 2 in this game:

Despite that, UW gave itself a chance to win this one.

It held New Mexico to one point over the final 1 minute, 49 seconds of regulation. Grabau sent the game in overtime with two free throws with 7.6 seconds to play. He made all 10 of his free-throw attempts.

"I knew the score in the back of my mind, but that wasn't my main focus," Grabau said.

Even though Sobey missed two free throws in overtime and three in the game, he had a season-high 16 points on 6 of 10 shooting and he threw down a few dunks. Adams added 12 points, but more importantly, he held New Mexico senior guard Kendall Williams, the reigning MW Player of the Year, to 10 points on 4 of 16 shooting.

"Williams couldn't shake that little sophomore, and I thought he was outstanding," said Shyatt of Adams' defense.

However, Sobey and Adams combined for seven of UW's 12 turnovers. New Mexico scored 18 points off those 12 turnovers. They also missed five of UW's six free throws.

Both were on the floor after the game shooting free throws.

New Mexico's two big men -- senior forward Cameron Bairstow and junior center Alex Kirk -- combined for 27 points and 12 rebounds. But a lot of their shots came on short jumpers around the basket.

"We knew they could do that, but pick your poison. Do you want them one foot from the basket or 15," said UW junior forward Larry Nance Jr., who had nine points, seven rebounds, a career-high six blocked shots and three assists.

"We were going to give them those 15-footers. If they miss a few of those, we win this game. They did a great job of hitting their shots."

Bairstow and Kirk were a combined 12 of 22 from the field.

UW goes from facing the league's preseason favorite in the league in this game to the team that was picked to tie for second in Boise State at 7 p.m. Saturday in Boise, Idaho.

"I know the kids in our locker room feel awful, but they will get over it, just like they got over the others. (losses)," Shyatt said. "We will come out and battle and represent us the way they should.

"They will steal a few (wins) and we will get on a run."

Basket check

At halftime, referee Larry Spaulding asked for a game manager to check the height of both baskets.

The basket at the west end of the arena -- by the visitors' bench -- was one inch higher than regulation. That was the basket UW shot at in the first half and shot 52 percent.

The other basket was not adjusted.

Free throws

UW's seven-game losing streak to New Mexico is the longest in the series for either team, which dates back to 1950. New Mexico leads the series 64-63. ... The Cowboys fell to 54-45 all-time in overtime games and 1-1 this season. ... UW has led or tied the game in the second half in all six of its losses. ... The Cowboys blocked seven shots, which tied a season-high. ... Nance's six blocked shots was the most for a UW player since Amath M'Baye had five against Utah on Feb. 27, 2010. ... UW junior forward Derek Cooke Jr. played a career-high 29 minutes.

Cowgirls fall at New Mexico

The Wyoming Cowgirl basketball team had their six-game winning streak snapped with a 75-65 loss against the New Mexico Lobos, on Wednesday night, in Albuquerque. The Cowgirls are now 10-3 overall on the season and 1-1 in conference action, while the Lobos are 6-7 overall and 1-1 in MW play.

Four Cowgirls finished the night in double-figures led by Fallon Lewis. She recorded a team high 16 points and eight rebounds. Kaitlyn Mileto followed with 15 while Marquelle Dent and Kayla Woodward added 12 and 10 points each. Wyoming shot 23-58 (.397) from the field and 15-24 (.625) from the free throw line.

New Mexico was led by Sara Halasz with 18 points and nine rebounds. Antiesha Brown recorded 13 points while Alexa Chavez and Bryce Owens each had 11 and 10 points.