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Lobos send Pokes home

Mar 14, 2013 - The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS -- Larry Shyatt dropped to his knees at one point.

Shyatt was also seen with his hands behind his head in disbelief.

He yelled at his players and the officials.

All that summed up the University of Wyoming men's basketball coach's frustrations the entire game as the Cowboys lost to No. 15 and top seed New Mexico 59-46 Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the Mountain West Tournament at the Thomas & Mack Center.

UW (19-13), which lost its sixth straight game to New Mexico, now heads back to Laramie and waits until Sunday or Monday to find out its postseason fate. The likely tournaments are the NIT or College Basketball Invitational despite losing 13 of its final 19 games after a 13-0 start.

New Mexico (27-5) plays in Friday's semifinals against either fourth seed San Diego State or fifth seed Boise State. Results of that quarterfinal game were not available at press time Wednesday night.

The game was similar to the Feb. 2 game at New Mexico where UW lost 53-42, where it controlled the tempo but couldn't make enough shots. UW lost all three games to New Mexico this season in very similar fashion.

UW trailed by 10 points at halftime, but allowed New Mexico to make only two baskets over the first 14 minutes, 28 seconds of the second half.

The Cowboys trailed by three points about five minutes into the second half. But the Cowboys shot 32 percent in the game and had its two best post players in foul trouble.

"It's not easy to rely on defense when you are troubled on offense, and this team has consistently done that," Shyatt said. "I am proud of them."

"To me, it is not the final score. It is what you do with what you have."

UW had a cold-shooting team, its big men were hurt and in foul trouble and there was a big discrepancy at the free-throw line between the two teams.

New Mexico also outscored UW 21-8 at the free-throw line, and 15-4 in the second half. UW was called for 22 fouls compared to 14 for New Mexico.

UW also had 22 fouls in the game at New Mexico. That mark is the second-most fouls the Cowboys have had this season.

"The other things I can't say because my wife will kill me and the commissioner would be pissed, too," Shyatt said.

"I thought (New Mexico) struggled to score against our people, and they caused us to foul excessively. Isn't that a nice way to put it?" Senior forward Leonard Washington fouled out with 7:21 to play with six points and six rebounds, two steals and three turnovers. Washington is UW's leader in scoring, rebounding, steals and blocked shots.

Washington played only 10 minutes at New Mexico because of a bad back, and he was clearly affected by the back in this game.

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