It was going to be a challenge for Wyoming to hang with New Mexico and that is exactly what happened. The Cowboys put together a gutsy effort but the Lobos ended up pulling away when Wyoming got in foul trouble in the second half. New Mexico went to the free throw line 29 times and made 21 attempts. It was the same recipe they used in their previous win over Wyoming.
With a 10 point deficit at halftime it appeared that the Cowboys were going to get blown out. Instead the Pokes made two quick baskets to bring the lead down to six. After that the lead bounced between three and 10 points till Leonard Washington fouled out. After that Wyoming couldn't make a basket and New Mexico pulled away in this one. Washington got into foul trouble early in the game and Shyatt continued to play him instead of letting him rot on the bench. I support that decision and think there was no way the Pokes could stay competitive without Washington. He wasn't 100% health wise and finished with six points and six rebounds.
In the first half New Mexico was led by Tony Snell who was hitting everything, he finished with 15 points. In the second half Craig Barstow caught fire and finished with 14 points as well as grabbing eight rebounds. Conference Player of the Year Kendall Williams only had six points but he wasn't called upon to try and carry the team.
Now what we have is a waiting game for Wyoming. The NCAA tournament is definitely out and it has been for sometime. The Pokes would have needed to win the Mountain West Tournament in order to make the NCAA tourney. The NIT is still a possibility and would be a nice consolation prize after such a promising scene. We'll find out next week after selection Sunday announces the field of 68.