Pokes Cough up Huge Early Lead Against Lobos

The Cowboys jumped out to a double-digit advantage against New Mexico on Saturday but couldn't hang on down the stretch, dropping their first game of conference play in double overtime to a Lobo team that now has 14 wins…

LARAMIE, Wyo. -- Early on, Wyoming put the pedal to the metal.

In the second overtime, however, the Pokes just ran out of gas.

Wyoming dropped to 6-7 overall with a 99-92 double overtime loss to New Mexico on Saturday. The Cowboys are now 0-1 in Mountain West play.

While Ryan Dermody had a big day shooting, he said he'd trade his numbers for a victory.

"It doesn't feel nearly as good. I'd rather have a terrible day and have us open up conference [play] with a win," said Dermody, who finished with 24 points and five blocks. "Especially in a game like that, where we had so many opportunities. Just one play here, one shot here, and we weren't able to come out on the positive side."

The Pokes executed early, hitting 50 percent from the field in the first half, and took a 16-point lead into the intermission, 48-32.

"You don't like being down 16 at any point in the game, especially in the first half," said New Mexico head coach Steve Alford.

But the Lobos (14-2 overall, 1-0 Mountain West Conference) came storming back, outscoring Wyoming 41-25 in the second half to force the first overtime, and sealed the game in the second overtime, scoring 17 points to the Cowboys' 10.

"That's a very good basketball team we played. I give Coach Alford and the Lobos credit," said Wyoming head coach Heath Schroyer. "They made plays coming down the stretch."

Jamaal Smith set the bar for New Mexico, pouring in 24 points, including shooting 4-6 from three point range. Chad Toppert added 18 points and seven rebounds.

Wyoming's Joseph Taylor had arguably his best game as a Cowboy, scoring 17 points and grabbing 14 rebounds, and his head coach took notice.

"I think he's coming into his own," said Schroyer.

Brandon Ewing added 15 points and seven assists for the Cowboys.

The loss doesn't help Wyoming in the overall standings, but Ewing said it does show the team where they are in terms of progression.

"We were the better team than they were tonight," Ewing said. "If that's the best team in this league, then we're right there."

Wyoming travels to Fort Worth, Texas, on Jan. 12 for a showdown with the TCU Horned Frogs. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.

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