Senior guard Derrious Gilmore posted 15 points to help the University of Wyoming men's basketball team tie No. 20/22 New Mexico with 22 seconds left, but the Lobos made their last shot and hit two free throws to earn a hard-fought 63-59 win on Wednesday night in the Arena-Auditorium.
The Cowboys (15-5, 2-5 MW) have now lost two-straight home games for the first time under third-year head coach Larry Shyatt.
"We are of course very disappointed," Shyatt said. "I thought our guys played their hearts out. There's no such thing as `way to gos' or moral victories. We made some shots tonight, which was good to see. We really couldn't get the stops we needed down the stretch."
After trailing by six points with 1:53 to go in the game, the Pokes battled back to tie the contest at 59-59 with just 15 seconds left on threes from freshman guard Josh Adams and sophomore guard Riley Grabau.
The Lobos (18-3, 5-1 MW) made a jumper with nine seconds to go to retake the lead, as Wyoming couldn't convert on its final possession and UNM made two free throws with seven seconds left to ice the game.
"Despite the good things we did tonight, the disappointment lies in the final score," Shyatt said. "I've never had a problem with our guys and the effort they've given and the way they play together. But they do keep score and this is a disappointment because we had it tied at 59 with 15 seconds to go. It's a big disappointment right now, but we'll come back. Like I've said before, I'm amazed at how our guys bounce back, and I'm pleased with their effort again."
Gilmore's team-high 15 points came on 5-of-7 beyond the arc, while Grabau and senior forward Leonard Washington both contributed 11 points.
Grabau added three assists and Washington had six rebounds and two blocks. Gilmore, Grabau and Adams combined to go 50 percent (12-of-24) from the floor and 66 percent (10-of-15) beyond the arc.
After struggling offensively in their last game, the Cowboys connected on 41 percent (20-of-49) from the field and tied a season-high in three-point makes with 12 on 54 percent (12-of-22) from deep. UW earned a 4-1 advantage in blocks and 6-5 in assists, but was outrebounded 35-23.
Gilmore started the game with a bang for Wyoming, as he nailed a trey, but the Pokes and Lobos would exchange the lead four times over the first half with three ties. Adams extended the lead to five, but New Mexico responded with a 12-0 run to go up by seven at the 12:26 mark.
Gilmore broke the spurt with another three, as the Cowboys climbed to within one at 15-14 with 6:24 left in the half. Grabau, Adams and Gilmore all added treys over the next three minutes and a deep one from sophomore forward Larry Nance Jr. put Wyoming back in front 23-22 with 2:21 to go.
UNM quickly retook the lead, but a three from Grabau at the buzzer sent UW into halftime up 28-27.
The Pokes shot 41 percent (9-of-22) from the field and a whopping 70 percent (7-of-10) beyond the arc to 42 percent (11-of-26) and just one three (1-of-4) for New Mexico.
The Lobos earned a 19-10 advantage on the boards, but UW was up 4-0 in blocks and 4-2 in steals. Gilmore posted nine points in the first half and Grabau added six, as the two combined for five treys.
The Lobos quickly retook the lead, as New Mexico started the second half hot with an 8-2 run. UNM kept the advantage around six through the middle minutes, despite six-straight points from Washington, until extending it to nine with 6:42 to go.
Gilmore hit a three to spark the Pokes and they battled back to tie the contest on a trey from Grabau at 59-59 with 22 seconds left. The Lobos hit a jumper on the ensuing possession, though, to retake the lead with seven seconds to go.
Washington attempted a full-court pass on Wyoming's next possession, but it sailed out of bounds and the Lobos hit two free throws to seal the game.
Wyoming continues its season at Colorado State on Saturday at 5 p.m. MT.
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