A.J. Hardemen (pictured) had a career night to lead the New Mexico Lobos in a road victory 70-68 over the Wyoming Cowboys. The Lobos (16-3, 2-2) needed Hardemen to step up as they struggled with their long range shooting all game. Wyoming (8-10, 1-3) led by eight midway the first half but the lead was narrowed to 30-29 at halftime. A tight game the rest of the way with New Mexico coming out on top.
The Lobos have now won two in a row and are again setting their eyes on the Mountain West title. Hardemen went 7 of 10 for 18 points. Phillip Robinson added 15 points including a trio of triples on eight attempts. Robinson was the only Lobo to connect from long range as the rest of his teammates went 0 for 11. Darington Hobson scored 15 points with 11 coming in the second half.
Wyoming had it's opportunities to win this one but Afam Muojeke and Jaydee Luster both failed to convert on three point plays near the end. Muojeke was also called for an offensive foul while driving to hoop with under a minute remaining and trailing by three. The zone defense of the Lobos kept the Pokes from driving to the basket and forced Wyoming to settle for jumpers most of the game. Wyoming did hit 7 of 21 on three pointers but disappointed by sinking only 11 of their 19 free throws.
Muojeke led the Pokes with 15 points but took many bad shots and went 5 for 17 from the floor.
Desmar Jackson provided a nice spark off the bench for Wyoming. In twelve minutes he had 8 points and four steals. Even when he did turn the ball over Jackson kept alert on defense and grabbed a steal to score on a breakaway early in the second half.
Both teams will be action again on Wednesday, January 20th. The Lobos travel to Colorado Springs to tangle with the Air Force Cadets while the Cowboys hit for the road for Provo and the #18 BYU Cougars.
Cowboy Joe: Ryan Dermody hit three treys in the second half to keep the Pokes in the game. Also grabbed 8 rebounds.
Cowboy Low: Jaydee Luster went 0-5 from the FT throw including three in the final minutes to kill the chances of a Cowboy comeback. He did drive to basket which most of his teammates weren't able to do, as well as dish out nine assists.
Cowboy Foe: Hardemen stepped up and hit big shots all game long. Only a 54% free throw shooter for the season he went 4-5 in the game.